Using OpenOffice

By Deane Barker on April 18, 2004

It’s possible to ditch Microsoft Office: I actually used OpenOffice (used as opposed to played with, which I’ve done a number of times) the other day to write a document. It was fantastic. In many respects, better than Word.

I’ll admit that a lot of my desire to use Linux and other software alternatives is just to be counter-culture. Not so in this case. OpenOffice is not only a legitimate alternative to the old guard that is Microsoft Office, it may be better. Look for a day where people struggle to justify why they’re using Microsoft Office and not the alternative.

Is today’s OpenOffice good enough for the enterprise? For most jobs — word processing, presentations or spreadsheets — the answer is yes. Compatibility with Microsoft Office isn’t a problem unless sophisticated macros are involved. Interoperability, the greatest hurdle to conquer on the way to adoption, is almost a nonissue. OpenOffice even offers features missing in Microsoft Office, like PDF or Flash data exports.