Microsoft Office vs. Essays

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Microsoft Office vs.

According to, a new version of Microsoft Office 2003 will normally cost anywhere between $400 - $500, depending on which version you get. While Microsoft also has a $150 “Student and Teacher Edition” which is the same at the $400 Standard Edition, most people do not qualify for that version, and even for those that do, $150 can still be a lot of money, especially for a student, and $400 is much more than most people would want to spend simply to type a document occasionally. These prices seem even more extreme in light of the fact that there are many free alternatives to Microsoft Office. One of the most popular and well known alternatives is, which is
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In addition, Writer doesn't automatically try to help the user with tasks, as opposed to Word, which will try to make suggestions if it sees you doing certain things. Whether OO or Office has the right approach to how much to help the user really is a personal preference, and while I prefer OO's approach of not interrupting the user to try to help, I can understand how many people would prefer Office's user friendliness.

When it comes to standard features, Writer seems to have pretty much everything that I would look for, including automatic spellchecker, thesaurus, advanced formatting, the ability to insert graphics, and macros among other things. One feature I have not found in Writer, though, is the automatic grammar checker. I'm not sure if this is really a bad thing, since it seems that Word's grammar checker was not extremely useful, because many times it would suggest something that was wrong, but I found that it still would occasionally catch things that I miss, and so it would be nice to have something like that just as a backup.

Unless a user is creating a extremely complex document that requires some of the advanced functionality of Word, the programs are very similar in what they are able to do, and most users will not notice a difference. The biggest difference between the two programs,

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