Search Engine Land is reporting that Google has added Star Office to their Google Pack and it couldn’t come at a better time for me.
You see, I have four PCs on my network where I work at home. All are running Windows XP and, until recently, three were running Microsoft Word 2000 as part of Microsoft Office 2000. I installed Office on two of the PCs and one came with it pre-installed.
Over the course of the past few weeks, Word has decided to crash repeatedly on all three, to the point of being useless. I can open Word, but if I start working on a document or try to print out an existing one, Word either freezes or crashes on ALL THREE COMPUTERS!
I can only assume that as the three computers went through automatic Microsoft Windows updates, something broke. Microsoft’s way of trying to get me to buy the latest version of Office? I have no idea, but, of course, it won’t happen. To paraphrase a famous quote – I don’t need no stinking Office!
No my friends, I have used Star Office in the past and its cousin Open Office and am quite comfortable with them. They provide most of what you can get in Microsoft Office – word processor, a spreadsheet tool, presentations tool, databases, math formulas and drawing tools – for free. Considering Google’s move in the direction of competing with Microsoft Office with web based software – Google Docs – I’m not surprised to see a desktop approach land in their free Google Pack as well.
Frankly, I see Star Office and Google Docs coming together as a potent desktop/web combination at some point. Imagine working on your documents on your laptop on the plane and seamlessly synching to your Google Docs when you connect to the Internet at your office. Cool stuff.
Many of us, including me, don’t need all of the bells and whistles in the latest version of Word and family. I do most of my writing using just the basics – text editing, spell check, insert images and so forth.
So, Star Office is back on my PC and I’ll be installing it on all three since Word has apparently decided it’s upgrade or die time.
So die already. 😉