Written by Gaurav Bhola, MSM, Managing Editor & Community Manager on November 26, 2007 5:05 pm EST
The Microsoft monopoly has been in full throttle for years, too many years. Many software came and went, many seemed promising like the beautiful Lotus Smart Suite. Many consumers and experts concur that this was the best office suite package ever. Alas, it wasnt meant to last as MS Office was the dominant force on desktops, a strangle hold engendered by exclusive agreements with hardware desktop makers.
Now those same companies are lamenting their complicity in making Microsoft the monopoly it is today. If they hadnt given the sole space on their desktops to Microsoft, then the current productive office suite landscape would be different.
Now IBM, amongst others are attempting to seek redemption by promoting Free of Charge Ubuntu, Symphony, and Sun Microsystems’ Open Office, etc. Please find information about each:
What does the Ubuntu mean: “African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are.”
Ubuntu is an operating system like Microsoft Windows that is can be placed on laptops, desktops and servers. It has all the applications you desire such as, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, email, note-taking, photo editor, music and video.
Watch this great Microsoft Vista versus Ubuntu video:
It is full personal productivity application suite that is a competitor of MS Office. It is a derivative of Sun Microsystems’ Star Office suite. Open Office includes a word processor, draw, spreadsheet, database, mathematical function creator, and a presentation tool.
You are not locked in the unending chain of Microsoft Office upgrades, paying ever exorbitant funds to upgrade buggy software that needs patches continually. Like Open Office, IBM Symphony is free to download and use. Also when upgrades are available, you can download them for free, no purchase is ever necessary. Symphony includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and a presentation.
Are internet based online productivity applications the wave of the future? Google thinks so. Google offers an internet based Microsoft Office alternative that has a word processor, spreadsheet, and a presentation suite. There are limitations with regards to file size, etc. You must first sign up for Google Mail, to access the office suite.
Want an alternative to Microsoft Project? Guess what, Projity is the open source answer called OpenProj. It does have the same learning curve as Microsoft Project but hey, it free. There is a paid robust version, Project-ON-Demand, but for most people the free version will suffice. OpenProj is perfect for small business owners managing group projects. As in case of other open source software, OpenProj is available for Linux, Mac or Windows.
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