It's funny. We have been programmed into believing that because something is free, that there is some kind of catch, or that it is not as good as a paid version, or that it is riddled with spyware and scumware. This may be true for a lot of stuff on the Internet, but I feel that it is not the case when it comes to this complete suite of office software from http://www.openoffice.org.
The general belief about non free software is that it is better than free software. Well, prepare your paradigm to be crushed before you read this report: "Free, Open Source Software is More Reliable" http://www.gnu.org/software/reliability.html.
Open Office is the Real Deal Free.
Open Office is distributed with a GNU License: http://www.openoffice.org/license.html.
This means that it is completely Free software. Open Office is the choice not because people on a tight budget can get their hands on it, but because it is rich with powerful features found in similar programs selling for hundreds of dollars. If you read the GNU license, it might make you wander who came up with this office type of software in the first place: http://www.gnu.org.
In fact, if you read the GNU General Public License at OpenOffice.org: http://www.openoffice.org/licenses/gpl_license.html, you'll notice that you are granted permission to distribute this software and charge a fee for doing so.
I have seen Internet Marketers around who are doing this. They have included Open Office along with other Public Domain software in their software Resale Rights package. They have added more perceived value to the software package by including Public Domain Work which anybody can go out and get free.
Open Office contains:
A full featured Word Processor that does all the clever stuff:
A powerful Spreadsheet Program:
A Multimedia Creator for creating animated presentations:
An excellent Drawing Tool:
A full strength help file with a handy help agent.
Open Office is not a small download but my opinion is that it is worth waiting for. The download page is located here: http://download.openoffice.org/index.html
I run Open Office on my laptop and on my PC and have no problems as a result of bugs or defective programming. Hell, some tiny programs that I have paid money for have caused me some big problems. Another large autoresponder program which I paid over 300 bucks for refused to work "on my particular version of XP". After a period of support from the developer, I asked for a refund. I had to stop the support process when they wanted to take remote control over my computer.
Free software is a pretty loose term on the Internet today. The term is used for the terms freeware, shareware and a host of other terms. But what does free software, freeware and shareware really mean. Is there a difference? I tell you this, there is a lot of these types of terms and there is a difference. See them all here: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html
Note: There are thousands of people "giving away" all types of free software programs riddled with scumware which produces undesirable effects upon the user and their PC's. This is a topic of continual research at http://www.scumware.com. I suggest that all who wish to use these nasty but handy little downloads getting around the Internet to actually read the agreement before installing.
Tip: Before you buy a software program, why not do a quick search for the term "open source _____" and add the name of the type of software you want, just to see what results come up :-)
The author, Ed Zivkovic is a self-taught webmaster. His website contains articles with all sorts of tips for work at home webmasters. Here is the site: http://www.ezau.com