Today I tried a number of software for the first time. I was wanting to test these for a long time now, and today was the day - thanks to the internet connection at ICT.
First of all, I was astounded by the efficiency of openoffice.org [oo.o] - as an avid explorer software and tools, I landed at the site of openoffice.org, from where I got the software itself. If you're new to it, it's a free office suite modified from the original code of StarOffice, which was introduced a few years back. Openoffice.org is distributed for free under GNU LPGL licensing. This suite is written by different communities around the world, and is managed by Sun Microsystems.
Openoffice.org contains a package of efficient utilities such as Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Math and Draw, designed to replace or compete Microsoft Office. All of these applications have easy to use GUI with a lot of features that are only dreamt of in MS Office. For example, openoffice.org Writer, the word processor, exports to PDF format without having to install Acrobat; and oo.oDraw exports your content to swf format. Impressive, eh? Next up, it's oo.o Impress, the next challenger for Microsoft's Powerpoint. Likewise there's [oo.o]Base for MSACCESS, oo.oCalc for MSEXCEL and oo.oMath for MSEQUATION + MSVISIO. Finally there's something called oo.oDraw, for desktop publishing, an area where Microsoft hasn't opened for the public yet.
By the way, Google is polishing and finalizing its much anticipated product called Writely, the word processor, for release shortly. Huge expectations are lined up for Writely, the so called most powerful word processor in the planet. Now lets see how the battle grows! Meanwhile, for oo.o, a reviewer says in the oo.o website, "Not only is it completely free, it's very useful - an entire suite of programs a la Microsoft Office. Cynics might argue that there's no such thing as a free lunch, but in this case OpenOffice.org 2.0 bucks the trend and emerges as a viable alternative to Bill Gates' product." This is so true for Openoffice.org - I'm impressed!