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So I’m not the only one ditching Microsoft Office

Rick Broida wrote a fairly harsh piece on Cnet about why he’s ditching Microsoft Office. Our reasons differ, and while I agree with all of his reasons he may not agree with all of mine. That’s OK.

I stuck with Office 2003 because its user interface is familiar and makes sense. By using the program, you learn the keyboard shortcuts from the menu and can graduate from casual user to power user relatively quickly. That went away in Office 2007, so I never moved on. Office 2003 was the best version Microsoft ever made, but it loses security updates next month, so it’s the end of the road.

Fortunately, Libre Office has a traditional user interface and most of the same keyboard shortcuts. If you don’t use mail merge, it’s a capable replacement, and it’s free and actively maintained. It’s not as fast as Office 2003 was, but neither is anything Microsoft has made since.

Now, in corporate environments, with a recent version of Office and Sharepoint you can do some really nifty things, like automatically building Powerpoint presentations from Excel spreadsheets created by different people. You could probably approximate the same thing with other software, but what I saw a Sharepoint-literate colleague build this week with MS Office was very impressive.

But I don’t need that at home, and I don’t want to pay $100 per year for the rest of my life to use a program that I tolerate at best, so I’ll save my money and move to Libre Office.

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2 thoughts on “So I’m not the only one ditching Microsoft Office”

  1. I’ve been using OpenOffice for about or six years now. I don’t do much database work any more, so I don’t use the data portion, but the only thing I really miss in the entire suite is in the presentation module – in Office, I was able to start a song playing under one slide, and have it continue under other slides. I can’t do that in “Present” – but that is the Only Thing I have found that bugs me.

  2. I have both my father and my sister using Libre Office and neither of them have had any issues with it. Neither of them are power users either so I wasn’t really expecting too many issues.

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