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OpenOffice Is Open Season On MSOffice

John Stith
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-06

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Sun Microsystems and some volunteer programmers have done something wonderful. They come up with a FREE office suite program. It's got a word processing program called Writer that reads documents from Word and WordPerfect. It's got a spreadsheet program called Calc that will open will open Excel files.

It gets better. It's got a database program called Draw that will work nearly as well as Access and will certainly handle the files. There's also a presentation program called Impress similar to PowerPoint. There are imperfections certainly but this program is FREE and it's only in the beta version. You can even print into a PDF. This is great.

In a recent review by the AP Tech writer Peter Svensson sings it pretty good praise but says the only big problems is the lack of some type of email program like Outlook. It's quite possible though they could be coming out with some version of this in the finished product.

OpenOffice is a collaboration of Sun Microsystems and a bunch of volunteer programmers from various places around the world. They created OpenOffice initially but realized they couldn't compete with Microsoft who had a near complete lock on the office management software. The problem with MS Office is that it's expensive. It's around $400, which for a home user or small office just beginning can be quite expensive. Sun and co. decided not to try and compete with Microsoft on the store shelves. They decided to unload this one for free.

Going to the OpenOffice website isn't bad either. They have a lot of good resources and if you are a programmer and want to tackle one of these things, jump on it. They tell you what you need to do to get involved in the effort.

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About the Author:
John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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