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A New Office Rival

Microsoft Office is the biggest success story since the Ford Mustang. It killed WordPerfect and Lotus. And decades after its launch, Office still rules.

I'm not sure this is a good thing. I use it everyday, and there are still things I can't figure out. Like, if you import text that is double spaced and reformat as single space, it stays double. I end up Mickey Mousing it by pasting in single space text and writing over it. Autosave is also sketchy... Text that should have been autosaved simply doesn't exist when Word crashes on me. While esoteric features work just find, the fundamentals are still sketchy.

That's why I'm glad to hear about LibreOffice 3.3. This open-source suite is based on OpenOffice and came out of developer dissatisfaction with how Oracle was handling OpenOffice. Simply put, free software doesn't do much to put gas in any of Larry Ellison's mega-yachts.

While Microsoft Office rules the commercial space, open-source suites have a ton of users. According to Forrester Research, half a billion people use Office, while a third a billion use OpenOffice.

Do you use OpenOffice? If so, fire up your open-source word processor or e-mail client and tell me all about it at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 01/26/2011 at 1:18 PM


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