Ruth’s Mum is getting a new PC, so we we’re going through the Dell site, pricing up and checking it all out. When we get to the Microsoft Application Software (where you add office to the price). Office Small Business is ?211.50 extra, while Office basic is ?105.75 but that doesn’t have Powerpoint, which depending on what you do can be important (I’ve seen teachers.tv they use powerpoint a lot in schools now)
“that’s OK” i said, “your a teacher, you can get the office student teacher edition” which amazon sell for ?92.99, that comes with word, excel, outlook and Powerpoint. but is that still to much money for office?
Now, I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here, because i use office. both at home and work. You see one of the benefits of working for the university, is what’s known as the campus agreement, basically as a university, it is adventagious for Microsoft to have all our students using there products so we get office very very cheep (I’m not sure what it is now, but it use to be a few pounds per PC), and staff get to use it at home for free too.
So when i say office is expensive use something else, i am of-couse not doing that myself. that’s because office is the best ‘office’ suite you can get, and if you’re getting it for nothing or nearly nothing then there’s no competition but if you are paying ‘full wack’, then is it worth it?
So what are your alternatives ?
Lotus SmartSuite, if you can buy it, it’s quite cheep, and older versions do occasionally pop up on the front of computer mags, but at best you’ll end up with quite an old set of software tools, that won’t work all that well, and not work for anyone else*.
Star Office, this is office by Sun. it’s much closer to office than Lotus, and still cheaper than office, at ?41.97 from amazon, you can save yourself a lot of money, but to be honest, no one can tell me why as a home user it’s better to pay for this than just download…
Open Office:, this is the free open source version of star office, but as I’ve said if we are looking at home use the differences between open and star office, should mean you don’t have to buy star office.
There are more wacky alternatives to office, you could just use Microsoft Works, which comes free with most computers, but there is a reason for that. You could even ditch installing software altogether and use web tools, writley is an on line word processor, where you can import and export documents, work with others on line and publish to the web. it’s not quite an office killer, but it quite nice to use.
If it was me
If it was my money (and again i get office for free so who am i to tell you?) i would use open office, it’s free, close enough to office not to be officenive and most importantly it opens Microsoft files.