Ask the Expert

OpenOffice.org vs. Microsoft Office 2007

Do you think the release of Office 2007 will spur many enterprises to migrate to OpenOffice? Feature-wise, will Office 2007 be any better than OpenOffice? What about Office 2003?

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I definitely think that Office 2007, especially its cost and the fact that it's so different from the Microsoft Office that users are accustomed to, is making many organizations consider OpenOffice.org. The amount of money saved on upgrades dwarfs the significant, but comparatively small, amount of money needed to be spent on transition tasks such as converting documents, training, productivity while users get up to speed, etc.

Regarding whether Office 2007 is better than OpenOffice.org, I'm glad you asked that. Whether it is "better" isn't really the point. A 5,000 square foot house in Aspen is better than my 1,500 square foot house in the suburbs outside Boulder. But I can't afford that big house in Aspen and I don't need it. It would be irresponsible to spend my finite funds on something I don't need.

That said, Office 2007 might or might not be better than OpenOffice.org; it depends on what you need and what you like.

This was first published in March 2007

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