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Re: Office for Students and Teachers

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From: "Dennis S. Wish, PE" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net>


The bottom line is that I did not do my homework on the licensing of this product and will have to decide what, if anything I will do about it at this time to maintain my ethical support of software licensing based not only on what is written, but what I feel is a principle of fair use rather than an attempted legal obligation.



A simple and even more cost-effective solution to MS Office is OpenOffice which is freely downloadable as open source software and sponsored by Sun Microsystems, IBM, RedHat, and others. It works on all flavors of Windows, as well as Mac and Linux. The current version can read most files created with MS Office, and the next version (available this summer) is supposed to improve on that ability. While OpenOffice may have only 90% of the bells and whistles of MS Office, it has 0% of the cost. Most of our employees do not use (or know how to use) that remaining 10% of features anyway, as would most students and teachers.

OpenOffice is available at:   http://www.openoffice.org/

Furthermore, OpenOffice uses fully documented native file formats (no secret file formats, i.e. *.doc and *.dwg) and can save to PDF files without additional software. Because it is free, you never need to worry about someone not being able to read your documents because they can get their own copy of the software. In fact, one could include the program on a CD with your files if necessary. That ability in itself is sometimes worth more than the cost of MS Office alone.

Licensing is not an issue (http://www.openoffice.org/FAQs/faq-licensing.html#10), and it's free.


-Chad




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