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General Chat Thread, Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice in General; I am currently trying to write a document comparing the key features of MS Office (2007) and StarOffice (8.0) so ...
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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    I am currently trying to write a document comparing the key features of MS Office (2007) and StarOffice (8.0) so that the school can make an informed decision on our continued use of MS Office.

    A migration away from MS Office as the primary office suite would not occur for another year and at that time will cost the school approx. £11k (at current prices) and the current price to students is approx. £160. These costs are quite inhibative IMHO - esp. for students.

    Anyway... we would look to make a decision this year as to whether StarOffice/OpenOffice would meet all the requirements and then spend a year migrating... obviously there may be exceptions to the migration (such as SIMS users) but an exeption can be made for them.

    I was hoping that somebody might have seen such a document (or even written one themselves) that I could have a look through.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    Did you try asking google?

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    Midget's Avatar
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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    StarOffice isn't free so If you want free, then you'll be going for OpenOffice. Now I would get the IT Teachers to test it first, because part of their subject requires them to teach Access DBs and then Mail Merges based off them, with Macros doing the more complex tasks.

    I've never tried macros in OOWriter so I can't say how easy it is, but I can bet that if that feature IS included it wouldn't be VBA.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    @Midget: The license for StarOffice means that it is free for educational establishments and includes a few extra components that OpenOffice does not have - fonts and things mainly (stuff that isn't GPL).

    From talking to a teacher, databases are indeed the most important part of the office productivity package.... however, this year in particular, students have been struggling because they don't have Access at home.

    From my research so far, the advanced features of Base (connecting to pretty much any database you could imagine and more besides plus producing real SQL) seem better than the shiny features in Access 2007. The scripting and programming choice for StarOffice/OpenOffice is a lot better as well - StarOffice Basic, JavaScript, BeanShell, Java and C++. There is also a tool to convert VBA

    Our A-Level course will not be using scripting in databases until next year anyway and the teachers are not VB experts by any means so they will need to learn whatever language is used... BTW MS want you to use VSTO instead of VBA in Office 2007 (this requires Visual Studio Pro).

    @Geoff: Obviously a Google search does return a mass of links but the majority are not education specific, do not do feature comparison and do not use Office 2007 for the comparison.

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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    How biased an opinion do you want?

    Ask over on SchoolForge and you will probably get lots of good examples of using Open Office and Star Office.

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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    the majority are not education specific
    This one is non-profit orientated.

    do not use Office 2007
    Bit thin on the ground atm, what with office 2k7 being so new. I'd suggest you look at reviews of Office 2k7 and check out the new features as a starting point.

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    Midget's Avatar
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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    Out of curiosity why do you want to jump onto Office 2007 already? What's wrong with sticking with Office2003?

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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    Becta have already done much of this research:
    http://publications.becta.org.uk/dis...fm?resID=28199

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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    There is no both option!

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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    Openoffice exclusively on the curriculum network, M$ Office almost exclusively on the admin and staff machines. We also give a doctored copy of the Open CD to every new pupil, mailing to their home address to make sure the parents know about it. The letter indicates use of this software ensures pupils work will be 100% compatible with the software used at school; use Microsoft Office and it will probably be OK but there could be problems; use Microsoft Works and you won't be able to use your files in school.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    A project of humongous importance Ric!

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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    This might be a crazy idea but is something I have thought about doing. By allowing remote access from home to your school servers the students could access whatever software you decide to use in school. They could also access and store their files in school. The benefit of this is that kids don't all have different versions of the software and are familiar with what they are using.

    I think the LEA would have to be pressed a bit more into allowing students to work from home. Currently the LEA is happy with staff using remote access, so I can't understand the problem with students logging in because they don't create as many problems as staff do.

    This then only limits the kids who don't have an internet connection, but I guess they couldn't afford office either or maybe even a home computer.

    On another note I found a problem transfering documents from openoffice into ms office. Sometimes the images included don't appear although I'm guessing it was down to me placing the images with precision on top of other things.

    I'd be interested to read your document Ric especially if it points the way I want it to.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy
    There is no both option!
    I meant primary office suite - i offer both but very few people have ever run StarOffice.

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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    You keep statistics on application usage?

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Docment comparing MS Office and StarOffice/OpenOffice

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    You keep statistics on application usage?
    I have eyes and know what the teachers use with the little darlings.



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