I’m trying out Open Office, which isn’t really a new thing for me, but the fact that I’m doing it at work is pretty new. It seems that our attempt to add two laptops to our pool of machines to be used at trial has hit one large roadblock. Namely, we can’t get them with Dell OEM Office 2003. Only 2007 is available. Apparently, we are also limited from adding a couple of licenses to our existing Office volume license, which would give us downgrade rights to load 2003, since MS only sells them in batches of 5.
So, it appears our choices are to force the users of this laptops to learn Office 2007 even though they use 2003 on a daily basis, buy 3 more licenses than we need, or experiment with Open Office to see if we can get all the features we would use at trial without paying for Office.
It’ll be an interesting experiment. Obviously, we couldn’t replace Office across the organization, but as with much open source and free software, there are some limited situations where it could be very useful.
One thing that I immediately found interesting though, for our 2003 users the menus of Open Office actually will seem a lot more familiar than Office 2007’s ribbon would! So that’s a plus. 🙂
We’ll see how my experiments go, and when the laptops get shipped to us, I’ll be able to really put them through the typical trial setup and see what happens.