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Microsoft Office vs.Google Docs: Do you use them ?

  1. Feb 11, 2012 #1


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    For small business entrepreneurs, for those who have used the internet:

    Which are better, why in your opinion:

    Ease of Use:

    I had a look at Google Docs and a comparison with MS Office (for the web) versus Google Docs.

    I am trying to get a feel for them so I don't make a decision I will later regret because of a limitation, cost that I didn't fully think through.

    This is a pretty savvy group. Small business startup stories, good, bad, and ugly (to save others the same fate, hehe... are encouraged.)

    Rhody... :wink:
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  3. Feb 11, 2012 #2


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    Have you tried Open Office? It's free, even for business use.
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    It depends on the level of sophistication needed. There is no doubt MS Office is light years ahead of Google Docs. That is mostly because of the limitations of web technology. However for basic functions, Google Docs works great and I use it. turbo mentions Open Office which is a great free alternative that offers greater sophistication. Still not as much as MS office, but good enough for 95% of users. Also look into Libre Office.
  5. Feb 11, 2012 #4


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    Yes, I have OpenOffice Turbo, it is nice as a free alternative of MS Orifice (sorry I had to get a shot in there).

    Greg said:
    If you conduct all the tracking, expense, etc... for PF with it, it should more than meet my needs, you also said, to check out "Libre Office". I will. Are there any hidden costs to using Google Doc's ?

    If I were to launch a small business, backup of my "critical" files are a consideration, as well as limited access to expense information, other than that, it appears it could meet my needs. Thanks guys, I will try to do a more due diligence before making up my mind.

  6. Feb 11, 2012 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Hi rhody, in response to your pm, i have always used MS Office and have never really shopped this. All of my biggest customers use the office format and the potential compatitibility issues [remember the old days esp] kept me from even bothering to shop.

    I use Quicken for invoicing.

    I have Office installed by Dell when I buy a computer. This way, any related software problems are covered under warranty. To me, this is worth its weight in gold. Rather than digging through help files at MS, I just make a phone call and the problem gets handled. My first rule of thumb for business computers: Buy up [max out RAM and HD] and get everything you can pre-installed.
  7. Feb 20, 2012 #6
    If you are doing a lot of word processing that you need to exchange with other people in .doc formats its just easier to bite the bullet and go with Microsoft. If you are in the mood for sticking it the man and a little savvy Open Office is a legitimate alternative, although it can be frustrating at times switching between formats.
  8. Feb 21, 2012 #7


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    LibreOffice is better, and has the most development thrown behind it.

    Personally, I use LaTeX for documents and MATLAB for calculations, and LibreOffice in rare cases. (Also worth mentioning I'm on Linux.) With LaTeX and MATLAB, anything important is pushed to a private repository on Github.

    I use Google Docs for collaboration.
  9. Feb 22, 2012 #8
    I'll add another suggestion for Libre Office.

    Just to be clear, Libre Office is the spiritual successor to Open Office. Oracle bought Open Office, and many people didn't like how they ran it. So most the developers took the code from Open Office (which was open source), and started a 'fork' called Libre Office. At the start the only difference between the two was the name. However there has been a lot of work done on Libre Office in the months since it launched, and it seems that Open Office is doomed to largely stagnate.
  10. Feb 23, 2012 #9


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    Thanks for the application history lesson. I will download Libre Office and give it a spin.

  11. Feb 23, 2012 #10


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    It actually gets more interesting. LibreOffice/The Document Foundation tried to get the OpenOffice.org* name from Oracle, but they kicked the LibreOffice team out of the Oo_O group. Then Oracle decided that they didn't want Oo_O, so they gave the project to the Apache Software Foundation, so now Oo_O is Apache OpenOffice and there are effectively two competing versions.

    By this point everyone has pretty much switched over to LibreOffice.

    *There's actually a distinct Open Office, so the name is technically OpenOffice.org.
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