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So, what's the catch?

Open Office Logo
You must be joking?! Why is it no-one told me about this before?

EVERYONE has Microsoft Office, right?

We carry on through life as though we can't do without it and, so long as you have a legitimate copy and have installed it correctly, life is good.

But what happens when you buy a new PC and you find out that your copy of Microsoft Office was not 'legitimate'? What happens when you don't have the original CD?

What happens, is you have a BIG problem.

Before you start panicking though, here's a little something to look at. It's a program called 'Open Office'.

Open Office has been around for so long (over ten years, in fact) that for webby geeks it is almost part of the furniture, but we suspect that most people using their PC still haven't heard of it.

Is it any wonder? The program has a zero marketing and publicity budget and that makes a big difference - only those 'in the know' know about it whereas your average Coronation Street viewer will not have, though they will allo f heard the expression 'Intel Inside' (though they may not necessarily know what it means.)*

So what is Open Office?

They say: "It's an office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose."

...and it's free, by the way.

So what you have is a free program which does everything MS Word and MS Office can do. It's not a con.

Not only that, it can read MS Word files etc. too. How good is that?

Anyway, enough talk - check it out at http://www.openoffice.org/

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* NOTE: For the same reason, ask anyone under 20 if they've heard of the product 'Alka-Seltzer' and they won't have, simply because its been decades since that brand has been actively advertised in the UK. At one time, Alka-Seltzer was as recognisable a brand as Coca-Cola, but not any more...