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Switch to OpenOffice? Pros and cons?

In Pakistan, bootleg copies of software are the norm. When you buy a computer, if you tell the people who are setting it up that you want genuine software, they look at you like you're crazy. So you go buy a computer, tell the tech support guy what software you want on it, and take it for granted that practically none of it will be legally yours.

All of which bothers me (that's why I know that you get strange looks when you ask for genuine software). But the fact of the matter is, most proprietary software is simply unaffordable on the average Pakistani computer owner's budget. So I've lived with a lot of bootleg software for most of my computer using life. For example, most educational institutions in Pakistan do not buy genuine software, so if you're in a public computer lab, you're probably using pirated software.

Off and on, I search for free software that will do the job for me, and switch over, just to assuage my own conscience. Ignoramus that I am, I was unaware of the existence of OpenOffice until a few months ago. Since then, I've been wondering whether I should switch over to it.

Which leads to my actual question(s):

Other than the moral argument for using software that one actually owns, why might one choose to switch over to OpenOffice? What difficulties should one anticipate? And would one lose an awful lot of functionality? Would it be totally stupid to install OO without uninstalling MS Office to begin with, and futzing with both for a while?

Many thanks in advance to whoever takes the time to read and respond to this.

About bardophile

bardophile's picture


bardophile is a teacher and curriculum planner/developer working in Lahore, Pakistan. She is also a first-time mom, so GTD strikes her as rather a lifesaver.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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