Sunday, November 13, 2005

Saving Money: OpenOffice software

OpenOffice is an industry strength software office suite of tools that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, graphics tool and more. It is free for agreeing to the licensing terms.

Click on the title of this post to go there. For families who cannot afford expensive vendor packages or who have reservatons about the investment, this is the way to go. Microsoft Word products can easily be imported. I use this at home.

An especially nice feature is that you can export PDF documents that are far less prone to have embedded virues. One of my pet peeves has always been that I am leery of opening Microsoft Word email attachments from institutional sources (like school) because they can be infected (giving me headaches). PDF attachments carry far less risk.

I would like to see all Region 19 schools give this package a fair evaluation and consider a wholesale migration away from the costly vendor software the schools now pay for to this standard.

Free training videos are available at; http://tinyurl.com/7kvo7

Today, there is considerable impetus by industry to move in this direction;

see: http://tinyurl.com/7rvfp

"OpenDocument format gathers steam
By Martin LaMonica, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: November 10, 2005, 4:00 AM PT

Big guns in the software industry are massing behind OpenDocument as government customers show more interest in alternatives to Microsoft's desktop software.

IBM and Sun Microsystems convened a meeting in Armonk, N.Y., on Friday to discuss how to boost adoption of the standardized document format for office applications. The ODF Summit brought together representatives from a handful of industry groups and from at least 13 technology companies, including Oracle, Google and Novell.

That stepped-up commitment from major companies comes amid signs that states are showing interest in OpenDocument. Massachusetts in September decided to standardize on OpenDocument for some state agencies.

James Gallt, the associate director for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, said Wednesday that there are a number of other state agencies are exploring the use of the document format standard.

"It's more grassroots, starting small and working its way through individual states and agencies," Gallt said, but did not specify which governments were looking into it.

Those state customers are seeking alternatives to Microsoft Office, while the technology providers are looking to loosen Microsoft's grip on the desktop marketplace, said Stephen O'Grady, an analyst at RedMonk. Those factors are what are fueling the growing momentum for OpenDocument, he said."

The article goes on to present some pros and cons for making such a move.

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