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OpenOffice VS Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is definitely the most rated commercial office suite. Its mostly for inter relations between desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft in 1989. Over the years, Microsoft have been instrumental in updating the Office. They have been successful in providing cool new looks and added features on every updates. But there is still a question-mark on whether that is an advantage or a disadvantage. Definitely the first of disadvantages are that its costs money. MS Office is not a freeware. This can become painful for the customer for having to buy the newer version just to read the document that is created in the newer version. Since this gets outdated very quickly, obviously users are not satisfied with that. But is there an alternative to MS Office which can give a solution to the problem that I mentioned above.

OpenOffice.org, commonly known as OOo or OpenOffice, is an open-source application suite whose main components are for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and databases. It is available for a number of different computer operating systems, and is distributed as a free software and is written using its own GUI toolkit. It supports the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data interchange as its default file format, as well as Microsoft Office formats among others. As of November 2009, OpenOffice.org supports over 110 languages.

OpenOffice is downloadable in its full version for free at www.openoffice.org, OpenOffice provides the ability to open any document created in Microsoft Office applications, or create entirely new documents saved in OpenOffice or Microsoft Office format according to your choice. At this time, Office 2007 documents can be opened, but you can’t save into this format…YET. There is also not a version of Microsoft Outlook available in OpenOffice form. Don’t let the ‘open-source’ part of this concern you. All this means is that it was developed by lots of programmers from all over, rather than completely done in a centralized, big corporation environment. It also means that YOU can participate in bettering the future of OpenOffice!

When you first install OpenOffice, you’ll be given the option to download/install updates automatically. There is never any charge for this – but you can donate to the cause if you want. The website is the only place you’ll see this, and thankfully, there are no pop-ups while using OpenOffice.org. The installation procedure is fairly simple for a normal user. But if there are still any installation issues, its a great thing that there are lots of communities and forums where you can turn to.

OpenOffice can feel a little strange for a new user. Its mostly under-rated because of the fact that its open-source. But, as sson as you get the hang of things, you will understand that OpenOffice is just as easy as anything. The most important point here is that, the updates are all free. So, an OpenOffice user will not be paying any money for update packages, unlike MS Office users.

The choice of office suites are definitely yours. But, it is of no doubt that OpenOffice is the best alternative to Microsoft Office.

Microsoft’s Open Office XML for Australian Government Offices

Australia Finance Department, in its recently announced desktop policy, has asked all its agencies to choose Office Open XML as their standard document format. This move by the Australian Government has ensured Microsoft Office Suite will continue to be part of the Government policy documents.  This comes as a surprise for international community when majority of the governments are embracing open source desktop publishing suites to cut down on costs.

The Whole-of-Government Common Operating Environment has made it mandatory that an agency productivity suite  should have the capability to read and compile in Office Open XML which is the file format endorsed by the Government. The desktop policy document also states that the productivity suite should be compliant with the ECMA-376 version Office Open XML (OOXML) standard.

The Australian Government decision of favoring OOXML has not gone down well with international community. Many experts have questioned Australian Government decision as the ECMA-376 version Office Open XML (OOXML) standard was disapproved by the International Standard Organization (ISO).  The reason given for rejection was OOXML has many Windows-platform dependencies make it less compatible with other similar formats. The Open Document Format Alliance which is backed by Google and IBM has also warned governments globally against adoption of ECMA-376 standard. The ODF Alliance  in its document titled “ What Government needs to know” has specifically mentioned that user of ECMA-376 standard OOXML will eventually tie the user to using Microsoft Office Suite only.

The Alliance has also pointed out that  ECMA-376 standard OOXML had several Windows-platform dependencies an in order  to get the product approved for ISO-29500, Microsoft was asked to remove the Windows platform dependencies which the developer has not been able to do till date. Hence, in this scenario, the ECMA-376 standard OOXML stands rejected by ISO.

The directive from Australia’s Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is surely going to limit agency choices as many of the rival productivity suites have the ability to import and read Microsoft’s OOXML format which is denoted by .docx extension for Word files, but only few have the ability to write in that format which prevents the agencies to use other office suites. This  government directive leaves agencies with no choice but to use Microsoft Office Suite.

The ODF alliance was surprised when the ODF format was not even mentioned in Australia’s Government Information Management Office policy. They have cited an international example where both the formats, ODF and OOXML were clearly mentioned in  2009 UK open document format policy the UK government giving room for both formats.  The biggest surprise for ODF Alliance was Australian Government did not even mention ODF standard in their The Whole-of-Government Common Operating Environment desktop policy. They have also mentioned that ODF was standard format selected by National Archives of Australia back in 2006.

AGIMO has clarified that it has selected OOXML to make the exchange of information easier between the agencies. Australian Government has clarified that their desktop policy is aimed at securing Government data and reducing possible leaks. The desktop policy makes it mandatory for Government offices to use Microsoft Office suite only.

Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003