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Software Review

(word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, database)
This is a Microsoft Office alternative. It is completely free. OpenOffice isn't designed to emulate Microsoft Office, so anyone who is familiar may have a slight learning curve. However, the options are fairly intuitive and the software is very mature and under constant development. If Office didn't come with your computer, I can't imagine buying it when you can use OpenOffice.

That said, if you have lots of experience and have invested loads of time into MS Office, it may actually be worth your time (potentially lost to unfamiliar software) to pay for MS Office. Most people can make due with 2003 (far cheaper) as opposed to 2007, however.

The only drawback to this software is that it doesn't currently support the MS Office 2007 filetypes: .docx, etc. This can hardly be blamed on OpenOffice and is possibly being held up due to legal reasons. [go to software page]