Open Office

I have often wanted to start writing reviews of some of the things I have found out there that are useful. So I am starting with Open Office. I had an old copy of Microsoft Office XP that is old enough that I cannot get updates for my copy anymore. With that and looking ahead to Vista I started thinking about another office solution as I did not want to spend $150 per license for Microsoft Office 2007. I had a lot of friends using Open Office who recommended it to me, so I thought I would take a look. It was great, it did all the stuff I wanted it to, and also interfaced with Microsoft Office file formats, such as xls and doc. Of course the best thing was, it was open source and free. I got it installed on both my laptop and my wife’s laptop and we both found it more intuitive than Microsoft Office. We set out default file formats to use Microsoft Office formats so there was no change there. However the one thing it did not do was open Microsoft Office 2007 documents because Microsoft changed their file formats, again. But I kind of figured since Open Office was open source that at some point they would put something out to fix that, and I was right. When Open Office did their release of 3.0 we upgraded to it and found that this very important update was now in Open Office. So if you have Open Office 3.0 or higher you should be able to open and edit Microsoft Office 2007 documents. All in all this is a great office suite and I have really enjoyed it. So if you are looking for a cheap, simple office suite for use at home or even elsewhere I would hightly recommend Open Office.