snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy examines would-be Microsoft Office competitors SoftMaker Office and OpenOffice.org and finds the results surprising. OpenOffice.org — frequently cited as the most viable Office competitor — has pushed for Office interoperability in version 3.1, adding import support for files in Office 2007's native Open XML format. But, as Kennedy found in Office-compatibility testing, that support remains mostly skin deep. 'Factor in OpenOffice's other well-documented warts — buggy Java implementation, CPU-hogging auto-update system, quirky font rendering — and it's easy to see why the vast majority of IT shops continue to reject this pretender to the Microsoft Office throne,' Kennedy writes. SoftMaker Office, however, 'shows that good things often still come in small packages.' Geared more toward mobile computing, the suite's 'compact footprint and low overhead make it ideal for underpowered systems, and its excellent compatibility with Office 2003 file formats means it's a safe choice for heterogeneous environments where external data access isn't a priority.'" Note that SoftMaker Office is not free software — it costs $79.95 — and there is no version for Macintosh.
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