May 2nd, 2004, 03:00 AM
In ancient times, slow-moving giants ruled the Earth. WordStar, followed by WordPerfect. Lotus 1-2-3. MCI Mail. But collisions with forces from beyond their world—like Microsoft Word—changed the environment. An ascending OS exhibited rudimentary intelligence—the giants failed to adapt and were unprepared when Word for Windows and Excel rose up. Finally, the combined applications of Microsoft Office hit with such force that a great cloud rose, killing off the lumbering behemoths' foraging grounds in the verdant fields of business. Two of the ancients did survive, though, and evolved into sophisticated office suites: Lotus 1-2-3 morphed into IBM's Lotus SmartSuite, and WordPerfect became Corel's WordPerfect Office.
Today's release of WordPerfect Office 12—a tremendously capable package—is a healthy reminder that Microsoft Office, although currently thundering over the land, has competitors that not only equal but surpass it in many ways. Consumers and IT purchasers in businesses large and small have real choices and need to seriously investigate them. Toward that end, we have reviews of three strong contenders: Microsoft Office 2003, Sun's Star Office 7, and WordPerfect Office 12.
Cost is not the least of the reasons to consider a Microsoft rival: On the street, Bill Gates will take $270, thank you very much, for Office 2003, Standard Edition. The latest WordPerfect Office Standard Edition is only about $10 less, but StarOffice 7, the "new" kid on the block, will forward just $80 to Sun's coffers. Numerous challengers cost little, or like the open-source OpenOffice.org (built from the code base of StarOffice 5.2), are free. PC Magazine's article "Office Alternatives" covered a number of competitors, all of which have since been updated. And our sister publication, eWEEK, has its own in-depth head-to-head comparison of Microsoft Office 2003 and OpenOffice.org 1.1.1.
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May 20th, 2004, 04:40 AM
Once these guys get a handle on Piracy and I think they will i don't think there going to see any significant rise in revenue. I don't see the pirates or even the honest home users upgrading for all the bells and whistles.
I guess this leaves bussinesses as the next revenue stream. I believe many are going to say why do we need to upgrade? We upgrade we're going to need more memory maby a better chip.
This leaves the so called "smart devices", handhelds and cell phones. This may be the deciding factor for many to upgrade. I have'nt seen 2005 yet but I am going to get a beta. 2005 could be an interesting year for IT. MS is selling the theme that 2005 could be like going from DOS to Win 3.1 .