Owch! My behind and back are now aching as I pick myself off the floor after falling out of my chair in shock.
Customers must pay $399 for Office 2003 Standard Edition, which excludes many of the choicer collaboration features such as InfoPath, featured in Office Professional for $499. The Register, Microsoft: no Office party
Ok, maybe not that much but for a retail package of Office 2003 Standard Edition I found at $345 at my favorite low-cost retailer. If you are just upgrading, it is $213!
Why would you want to buy Word processor, spreadsheet, email and calendar, and presentation programs especially at that cost.
These are available for free. In fact here is an office suite that is cross-platform, uses open standards for files, is MS compatible, and to top it off, has a database in it too (that cost $100 more from MS). Give it a go: OpenOffice Oh, I forgot, you can use the same program in Windows, Mac, Linux and other OS, sharing config files to make it ‘look’ and feel the same on all platforms. Then there are the plugins that add even further capabilities – FOR FREE!
Ok, so the above does not have email, calendar, tasks etc. Another tool with added benefit of assiting in avoiding viruses many of which are enhanced by Outlook’s “integrations” to the OS, is a product from Mozilla and the Mozilla Foundation.
Thunderbird is a compact but powerful email client with features available like crazy (including and impressive encryption tool that uses GnuPG to permit only the intended recipient to read the email!). Others nifty tools can be found in the Extensions area. Again, this is an application available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other OSes.
What about Internet Explorer(IE)? We can deal with that too! Mozilla has a superb alternative, though in more recent releases of Windows you can not fully get rid of IE.
Firefox is the solution! Again, this tool can assist you in avoiding the trash that internet browsing can bring. There are filters and popup blockers that are fully integrated into this browser. Also, a major release (1.5) is on the horizon that adds more power and still a fraction of the size of IE. Again, there are tons of extentions for Firefox including, weather, audio player contol, RSS, etc. And, if you can program a little, they are giving away cool computers in exchange for new extension for Firefox 1.5 – Firefox Contest. And Again (I feel like a stuck record – what is that?), this is an application available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other OSes.
Still sore from the fall. But hopefully you learned something new from it like I did: “Never check news about Microsoft while sitting on an office chair that swivels and rolls”.