Open IT Forum: Do we need Microsoft Office anymore?

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Google Apps
Microsoft Office
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With the range of alternatives now, Microsoft Office seems less and less essential. Do you think your organization will still use it in the future? If not, what will you use (Google Apps/Docs, Apache OpenOffice)?

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Yes.  Office is still the standard.  I’ve got friends that work for IBM and who are only supposed to have Lotus Notes installed, but if they want to be able to send files to clients in their native format they have to have Office because 99% of their clients are Office/Exchange customers.

I’ve got a couple of clients that use gmail for corporate email (including my own consulting) and I’ve tried only using Google Docs instead of Office but it just doesn’t work.  The features just aren’t there, and frankly I need the files offline for working while flying, on the train, etc.

While I know Office isn’t cheap (I’ve actually got no idea what it costs, I have an MSDN license which gives me a free Office license) for most if not all companies it’s worth it.

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  • AndreaF
    We are just upgrading our entire company to Office 2010 - and I can't see that changing anytime in the near future. I agree with MrDenny about Google Docs - cannot compete with the features available in Office applications. Even though I often recommend Open Office for private users looking for a free alternative, I believe that businesses need the richer features.  
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  • jinteik
    Microsoft office is here to stay as many people are quite use to their features. If there is a change, people will have to re learn the whole process of knowing the other kinds of office software out there
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  • TomLiotta
    Most organizations will still use it, even though most probably shouldn't. It has much more features than the vast majority of users care about or need. It's become so overloaded that I've begun seeing it be more of a productivity drain than gain. The only reason I've used it for at least the past five years is because it was set as company standards -- not because it was the best choice. Tom
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  • TomLiotta
    And by "best choice" I mean the best fit for the types and volumes of work done by personnel involved. Sometimes the best choice is an economy vehicle rather than a fully-loaded luxury car.   Tom
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  • ToddN2000
    Office has it uses. I mainly use Outlook for mail and Excel for data trasfers and statistical reports. Some organizations/businesses let you download from their site into an Excel format. Word is ok. There are a lot similar packages out there. I rarely if ever use PowerPoint or Access. Again, there are a lot of other applications out there that are free.Most companies I have worked for provide Office for their employess who if they are lucky use 1 or 2 of the programs provided. The other never get used. To me that's a waste of financial resources. It would be best if you could just by the program you need and not invest in the whole pre-packaged box set. Unless we get a majority of the bussiness world to change to other packages we will be using office for years to come.
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  • carlosdl
    I agree.  Many companies will still use it.  Here, we have maybe 70% of our users using OpenOffice since about 5 years ago, but the rest are still using Office, and I don't think that is going to change in the near future.
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  • Ken Harthun
    For the vast majority of users who just type documents, occasionally convert them to PDF, and need only basic spreadsheet functions, OpenOffice is king; I still advocate its use over MS Office for those who don't have the several hundred bucks to spend. If I didn't have free use of Office as a Net Admin, I'd still be using OpenOffice. However, Office will probably never go away.
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