In the newspaper this morning was an interesting article titled ‘Battle for Office reaches new heights‘. I like that the article mentioned the fundamental difference being that MS Office is installed locally on the Computer whereas Google Docs requires an Internet connection. Many people do not have constant Online access therefore need to be aware of this limitation of Google Docs. There are very many reviews and comparisons of the two productivity suites however many fail to mention this network requirement of Google Docs (I’d use Google Docs if constant Internet access weren’t required and there was a Google version of Microsoft Visio available).
The true alternative to Microsoft Office however is OpenOffice. OpenOffice, along with Sun Microsystems, has recently been aquired by Oracle and thankfully ‘Oracle plans to continue developing and supporting OpenOffice as open source’. OpenOffice, like MS Office, is a local install therefore constant Internet access is not required. OpenOffice is used by tens of millions of people and I thoroughly recommend giving it a try (hey, it’s free)!
Here is a brief description from OpenOffice.org: OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.