A lot of people are of the assumption that Microsoft Word is the dominant text editing and word processing program in the world. And while this is most definitely the case when it comes to the gross volume of how many copies they have sold, as well as how many people use the software, there is more to dominance than sheer numbers. After all, there is also customer satisfaction with what the product actually offers. And in addition to that, there is also the fact of the cost to benefit ratio. How much does a person actually get out of the software, compared to the amount of money they have to shell out for it? Would simply downloading Open Office be a better deal than buying the Microsoft Suite? These free versions of populare paid versions of software are popping up in many arenas. There are open source video players, music players, e-book managers like Calibre, and many others.
Well, that depends on the number of features you want. The open source suite does not have quite as many features as Word does. And while the Word does cost several hundred dollars to license on a particular computer (and you are supposed to individually license every computer you put the programs on), having some additional features might very well be worth it to you. However, it does have the most commonly used, necessary features, both in the text editing section and in the spreadsheet, database and presentation creation functions. OpenOffice can also theoretically replace PowerPoint, as well. Of course, it does not have the ability to save in the latest file formats, such as DOCX format. If this is important to you, you will need to purchase Word.
So is it worth your time to buy Word, when you could simply download its open source twin for free? For most people, the answer is no. While it may not be better than Word in some aspects, it is a far better deal for the functions that most people are looking to use it for. And after all, functionality and value are the most important parts of any programs you use.