OpenOffice vs. Google Docs

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OOo

Microsoft is getting ready to ship Office 2010, but a lot of small businesses realize they don't need all the features (or licensing costs) that come with Microsoft Office. The front-runners for Office replacements are OpenOffice.org and Google Docs, but which one is right for your business?

First, why do we narrow down the options to only OpenOffice.org or Google Docs? They're not the only competing solutions to MS Office. For online office suites you'll find more full-featured competitors like Zoho, and desktop users can choose Apple's iWork suite or many others. However, Google Docs and OpenOffice.org (OO.org) are the entrenched players here.

Zoho is a pretty interesting suite, but it lacks the muscle of a company like Google. The iWork suite is fine for some work, but the suite is much more limited than Docs or OO.org, and it's limited to the Mac OS X platform. Unless your business is entirely run on Macs, iWork isn't a workable solution.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the main contenders.