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Battle Office: OpenOffice vs. Google Docs

Local Control or Cloud?

  • May 12, 2010
  • By Joe Brockmeier
Microsoft is getting ready to ship Office 2010, but a lot of small businesses realize they don't need all the features (or licensing costs) that come with Microsoft Office. The front-runners for Office replacements are OpenOffice.org and Google Docs, but which one is right for your business?

First, why do we narrow down the options to only OpenOffice.org or Google Docs? They're not the only competing solutions to MS Office. For online office suites you'll find more full-featured competitors like Zoho, and desktop users can choose Apple's iWork suite or many others. However, Google Docs and OpenOffice.org (OO.org) are the entrenched players here.

Zoho is a pretty interesting suite, but it lacks the muscle of a company like Google. The iWork suite is fine for some work, but the suite is much more limited than Docs or OO.org, and it's limited to the Mac OS X platform. Unless your business is entirely run on Macs, iWork isn't a workable solution.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the main contenders.

Running and Accessing the Suites

The first consideration is whether the suite will fit with your existing setup. The good news is that Google Docs and OO.org are each cross-platform compatible. Docs will run in just about any modern Web browser, and OO.org runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and other OSes.

One area where OpenOffice.org falls down a tiny bit is mobile access. You can reach Google Docs, or at least a limited version, on many mobile devices. OpenOffice.org is pretty much tethered to the desktop without any mobile solution.

In fact, OpenOffice.org is not only tethered to the desktop, it's tethered to specific desktops....

Read the rest of this openOffice vs. Google Docs story at Small Business Computing

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