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[SLUG] StarOffice 5.2 vs Microsoft Word

We have been having a little discussion about StarOffice 5.2 vs
Microsoft Word.  I was interested in whether it's possible to ditch
Word in favour of SO.  I just thought I'd pass it on, as people here
may be interested.

Executive summary seems to be: you could, but it would cost you, maybe
more than you'd save.

Unquoted bits are me (`l>').

On  5 Sep, Andrew Dorrell wrote:
a>  In short, everyone would have to change over to staroffice
a>  if it were to work which I would not suggest for a moment.

l> Why not, just out of interest?

a>  1. It may work within the office... but then try sending a document to
a>  someone outside...

I assume you'd ask them what they wanted, and then send text or rtf or
word, or an SO file (in that likely order).

>  2. Word/Excel are better products.  They run more efficiently for
>  example.

Though I've used it happily to edit Word documents that crash Word, and
save them back as Word, and then successfully use Word.

a> I didn't mean to imply that word/excel didn't suck ;)

a>  Star office is still relatively imature and their future
a>  development path / support is not clear IMO.  SO is designed as a
a>  monolith - just what unix doesn't like or want.

I think this is the killer issue.  It uses too much memory.

And the same attitude carries over in the way it tries to become your
desktop, which I also dislike.

a>  As the unix camp is not
a>  in control of it I expect it will get some major architectural mods or
a>  will go into decline (depending on source quality).

Agreed.  Though since it is being GPL-ed this month or next month, the
Unix camp will be getting control.

a>  3. Everybody in the office has already some exposure and familiarity
a>  with Word/Excel.  Not such an issue for technical people like ourselves
a>  - but it makes a big difference for many people.

It'd be interesting to see.  My experience is that people who can use
Word can use SO.  But you have to give a bit of a push because it is a

>  NB I don't even use Star Office under linux here at work because I find
>  it more effective (in terms of communicating with others) to either use
>  plain text or use Word (via metaframe).  I use start office at home -
>  but that's different.

I prefer plain text, and at work I use FrameMaker, and at home I use
troff/mm.  :-)

a> BTW - I use latex too and have submitted a number of documents to ISO
a> in pdf generated from latex.  As things are shaping, pdf is a better
a> document delivery format than word (or postscript) as, in general,
a> the documents seem to be very portable and print predicatably - all
a> credit to Adobe for making this happen!

a> Also, playing with the image editor in Star office is pleasantly
a> surprising