I have been playing around with OpenOffice, on a Windows XP computer, for awhile now. For those who do not know OpenOffice is a free office suite, smiliar in nature to Microsoft Office. OpenOffice includes applications for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. While I do not consider myself a power user, I have been able to use OpenOffice for all of my word processing and spreadsheet needs, instead of Word 2000 and Excel 2000. Compatibility with Word 2000 is usually close to perfect. Compatibility with Excel 2000 is not as good but good enough to allow the sharing of documents. Some spreadsheets had to be changed somewhat due to differences in the way Open Office handles things.
OpenOffice also had two neat options that I use often, the ability to generate PDF files,in Adobe’s Portable Document Format, and the ability to export presentation documents to Macromedia’s Flash format. If you are looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Office, check out OpenOffice. I would recommend OpenOffice to anyone who wants a reasonably powerful word processor and spreadsheet program.
The current stable release and the preview release for OpenOffice 2.0 can be download from here.