You, the consumer, have several choices among current offerings of Office Suite software. The current trend is for everything to migrate from your hard drive to the internet. However, some consumers may not like that too much because of privacy concerns. Even if you are earning minimum wage, maybe you would rather not have spreadsheets of your expenses and credit cards to somehow become public information because of a system vulnerability from the company that is storing your information on its computers. It might be your files stay on your computer but the program is housed on the web. At any rate, this is a personal choice, so I will only stick to what you can put on the hard drive.
Of course, there is StarOffice, available for free, or on a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM for a minimal charge. This mostly meant to run on Linux. I am very much in favor of wrestling income away from the financial monopoly named Microsoft. owever, even after all these years, I am not convinced that Linux (thte operating system that runs as an alternative to Windows or Jagaur OsX, etc).is ready for the average computer user, unfortunately. Suse Linux and Ubuntu Linux gets most of the publicity now, but there is probably an easier version for those new to Linux-the Mandriva distribution. There is at least one other version that installs right over Windows. This is probably the easiest way for an introduction to Linux. At any rate, this allows you, the software consumer, to use StarOffice.
As another alternative to Microsoft products, you can use the Corel products. Like the Office suites, these come both in a Home and Student edition and more professional editions. The home and student editions are installable in up to 3 computers, but they are not to be used commerically. Also they lack the functionality of the professional editions. Corel makes good products, and many people have stood by the use of WordPerfect for a very long time. WordPerfect was around along before Corel was, and then Corel bought them up and continued to support and improve the product. It is hard to imagine with the monopology that Microsoft has over the Office suites software, that Corel has managed to compete. This is for various reasons, but the support at Corel is very good. The products have different functionality than the products by Microsoft. You cannot do every little thing that you can do with the fancier Microsoft products. It is not possible to work on so many a lot of open spreadsheets at the same time as easily as it is with Office Products. However, not everyone has a use for this--it depends if you are employed in science or finance. For users with simpler needs, the Corel products are probably better. I do have the the standard (professional) version of Corel Office Suite X4 available in my Ebay store at a lower price than you can find anywhere else in the US, at least for a sealed and legitimate retailversion of the software. The standard retail price is 299, and that is not usually discounted. You can find the home and student version for cheaper of course, and some eBay sellers are selling totally illegal downloadable versions. I really do not recommend this for various reasons, especially as you are hurting a company that is succesfully competing with Microsoft (and Adobe also). See my store
Dolphin's Treasure Trove. My Ebay user ID is Dolphin1959
I also have 2 brand new sealed and retail packages of Microsoft Office Home and Student for a retail price that you will not find anywhere else, as far as I know. These are the full retail edition and not any type of bogus volume licensing edition, DVD case edition, OEM edition, or academic edition--the latter only working if you are currently a college student. Office 2007 is a good program in many ways, as there are, for example a lot of templates included that were not included in 2003. It does have a learning curve after getting use to 2003, and I find 2003 somewhat easier to use. However, the majority of users really love the "Ribbons"feature of Office 2007. The Home & Student edition also includes the program called OneNote, which is an awesome program to take notes in a class. It would be best used with a tablet PC, but these have not really caught on much yet, despite HP's constant introduction of really good new models of Tablet PCs. Coupling OneNote with a Tablet PC works great for taking note. My handwriting is actually so terrible, I wanted to apply for a disability for it so I could take the writing test you need to graduate from the university from which I graduated. Often I cannot read my own notes, no matter how hard I try.
I love One Note,.
Unfortunately, the full version of Outlook is not included Although you can use Outlook Express or Windows Mail for mail functions, the true functionality of the full version of Access is in scheduling. However, if you have a Blackberry or something similar, you really would not need this at all, and most people are going that route to have an electronic scheduling notebook on the go in the form of a cell phone.
Also, Access it not included. I like Access, but most people use something else for database applications For simpler applications, a lot of people use Excel. For more complicated needs, people generally use other database software, at least from what I see.
I hope this was helpful to you.
Please visit my store:
Dolphin's Treasure Trove
Ebay User ID: Dolphin1959
Guide to Office Suite Software
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April 12, 2009
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