What is Really Free?
It's funny. We have been programmed into believing that because something is free, that there is some kind of catch, or that it is not as good as a paid version, or that it is riddled with spyware and scumware.
This may be true for a lot of stuff on Internet, but I feel that it is not case when it comes to this complete suite of office software from http://www.openoffice.org.
The general belief about non free software is that it is better than free software. Well, prepare your paradigm to be crushed before you read this report, Free, Open Source Software is More Reliable: http://www.gnu.org/software/reliability.html.
Open Office is real deal Free
Open Office is distributed with a GNU License: http://www.openoffice.org/license.html. This means that it is completely Free software. Open Office is choice not because people on a tight budget can get their hands on it, but because it is rich with powerfull features found in similar programs selling for hundreds of dollars.
If you read GNU license, it might make you wander who came up with this office type of software: http://www.gnu.org.
Open Office contains:
A full featured Word Processor http://www.openoffice.org/product/writer.html
A powerfull Spreadsheet program: http://www.openoffice.org/product/calc.html
A Multimedia Creator for creating animated presentations: http://www.openoffice.org/product/impress.html
An excellent drawing tool: http://www.openoffice.org/product/draw.html
Database Tools: http://www.openoffice.org/product/dbase.html
A full strength help file with a handy help agent.
Open Office is not a small download but my opinion is that it is worth waiting for. The download page is located here: http://download.openoffice.org/index.html
I run Open Office on my laptop and on my PC and have no problems as a result of bugs or defective programming. Hell, some tiny programs that I have paid money for have caused me some big problems. Another large autoresponder program which I paid over 300 bucks for refused to work on my particular version of XP. After a period of support from developer, I asked for a refund. I had to stop support process when they wanted to take remote control over my computer.
What is Free Software?
Free software is a pretty loose term on Internet today. The term is used for terms freeware, shareware and a host of other terms. But what does free software, freeware and shareware really mean. Is there a difference? I tell you this, there is a lot of these types of terms and there is a difference. See them all here: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html