Friday, October 2, 2009

Students, you don't need Microsoft Office.

It is hilarious to be in a computer store when students are going back to school. College and University students think that they need the latest Macbook pro and that they have to purchase all this additional software. Most of the students do not need the latest and the most powerfull computers. They never use them to their full potential and they spend tons of money that they usually do not have. The back to school season is about hype and buying into certain brands. Mac computers are expensive and spending all this money seems to be ridiculous. Especially today when school tuition and books are so expensive. However, there are tons of alternatives for students to save money for themselves. You can look into buying a PC which is several hundreds of dollars cheaper and will do the same thing as a Mac. Another big business during back to school season is software. You probably noticed that when you go to a store to purchase a computer every sales person is pushing on you additional products. Most of this is software or extra warranty. However, the most important software for students is an office suite. Microsoft Office is overpriced but you can choose Openoffice which is a great alternative and is completely free. It is not a trick or a free 60 day trial that will expire on you. Anyone can download it and use it on their computer. Most of the functionality of Openoffice are more than any student will ever need. Openoffice is also compatible with Microsoft Office formats. This free office suite works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS. You can save a lot of money by choosing free software instead of expensive applications that are being pushed on you by sales people. The whole point of College or University is to make you think outside of the box and to see things differently. Do not be pressured by the marketing of large corporations that tell you that you need an expensive laptop, software and additional warranties. Try to look for alternatives such as openoffice and save your money for things that really matter. Visit the Openoffice website to learn more or to download their office suite.


  1. OpenOffice is excellent. When I started college in 2003, I was using OO.o 1.0 Write to write all of my papers and Calc do all of my discrete math work in spreadsheets. I believe OO.o 2.0 was about to be released.

    I used it all through college, and had only ONE occasion where OO.o didn't play nicely with the Word files, and that wasn't a bug, but a deficiency in how OO.o displayed it. It's been improved as of 3.0 to mirror how Word does it, and the interoperability is solid.

    While I agree with that portion of the post, I disagree with the sentiment about Macs. I bought my first Mac, a MacBook Pro, since a Performa 6320 I had in middle school. Why? The hardware is simply superior, as is the warranty. I couldn't find a PC laptop anywhere (NewEgg, Amazon, System76, retail stores, etc.) which has the higher-level graphics, high quality screen, and, most of all, battery life that my new Mac has.

    There's also something to be said about OSX's sleep/hibernate ability. It's simply unparalleled. Windows sleep/hibernate is a joke and Linux's sleep/hibernate only seems to work on certain hardware with a certain, almost holy configuration. Students need to be able to close the lid and go, and open it and be right back where they left off--reliably.

  2. I would be remiss not to mention NeoOffice, a Cocoa-based port of OpenOffice to OSX. The version which works with Snow Leopard is available now as a paid pre-release, but will be freely available to everyone by the end of October.