Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Work on your MS Office documents legally, for FREE

Question -- how much do you or your employer pay for a genuine copy of MS Office?
A quick check with ComputerWar's September quotation says a single user license will set you back about RM 600.
Take that and times the number of users in your company, and that usually adds up to a tidy sum! To add to that, your Office would be obsolete in a couple of years, and you'll need to fork out another pretty penny for an upgrade.

How much of Office's rich set of features and functions do you really use?

A study by and THINK Strategies discovered that :
  • 50% of Office users use only its basic features found in Office Pro/enterprise
  • 25% never used Office at all, even though it was installed in their workstation
  • Only 25% are exploiting the rich features in Office pro/enterprise editions

Then why are we paying so much for something only a quarter of the people in the company are using?

Good question! Why don't you ask your MIS manager that question?

But then, if we don't invest in Office, how are we going to read and edit all those Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents which have become the de-facto office suite formats?

Well, the folks at IBM Lotus say they have the answer to that -- in the form of the free, open source office suite called Lotus Symphony. Symphony is a single, integrated application suite combining a word processor, a spreadsheet and presentation software. Developed using Eclipse (a free, open source java development platform), Symphony V1.1 today runs either Windows or Linux.

That's well and nice, but I still need to read and write to my Office files...
Which is why Symphony is written to be able to open Lotus Smartsuite, Open Document Format AND MS Office 2003 documents. So in theory, with this software running, you don't need all that extra suites sitting in your machine already!

Even better, Symphony comes pre-built with the ability to export all documents to PDF as well. That again saves you a few more bucks in having to purchase an Adobe Acrobat writer.

But having said that, Symphony doesn't try to be everything Office is. Remember the stats about most users accessing only the basic functions? Symphony gives you most of the features you'd see and use -- practical!

Source: Lotus Symphony Brochure

You sure or not? That sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?
That's what we're here to find out.... watch out for the next post where we pit Symphony and Office to a couple of simple head-to-heads and see who comes out tops.

Stay tuned!!

Find out more and download from the from Lotus Symphony website.

Add free upgrades and soup-up Symphony.

4 commented:

bluedreamer27 said...

you were right its better to have legally installed apllication of your MS office coz you might regret it later if you dont right? its nice to be here at your site
hopr you can visit me too at
have a great day and more power

Center Parted said...

Hi Bluedreamer, glad you drop by.

Cool blog you have there... like your Top 5 article on Hawaii. I didn't know Hawaiians had their own alphabets and with less than half that of the English alphabets.

Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

To counter the legal issue of the use of office suite, I always recommend Open Office. It's always an open source freeware and can support MS Office documents too. Actually there are more and more compatible office suite which is free for both home and office use.

Center Parted said...

Hi Apple, yep, Open Office is also good choice for companies who need a full suite of office-capable applications at zero cost. Good point!