Why MS Office 2007 is both a good and bad thing for OpenOffice.org

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OOo

OpenOffice.org (OOo) is, of course, the free software world’s complete office suite.

It’s not a bad program - it is certainly perfectly usable for a lot of standard productivity tasks. It sometimes is criticised, however, for various different things. Being bloated, being too much like Microsoft Office (related?), for not being enough like Microsoft Office, for not having good enough Word compatibility…

I like OpenOffice.org. I use it on my Linux desktop, and the NeoOffice port for Mac OS X as well.

Microsoft Office 2007 is upon us, however. With various new features and a few new additions to the suite, you would think it was just another incremental upgrade. Except that with the new version, Microsoft has introduced a new ‘ribbon’ UI to Office, banishing the old menubar and toolbar system.

Some people just love the new interface, citing improved productivity and clarity, while others aren’t so keen on it and see it as a diversion from UI conventions that isn’t so good.

For the ribbon haters who are currently using older versions of MS Office, this presents an interesting opportunity.

Full Story.