Open Office or Microsoft Office? What do you think?

I've been using Microsoft Products since version 1.0 on my Mac in high school. My dad has always been an automation visionary and I was using an old TRS-80 before I had to count my age on two hands.

But, as I've been planning my Dream Computer Lab and Dream Software, I keep hearing suggestions to switch to Open Office. As I have been researching this, I came across an article written today about a person switching to Open Office.

Those who suggest I switch say:

  • Open Office does everything that Office does.
  • It will save me a lot of money.
  • It is something every student can afford who has a computer. Many of my students do not have Microsoft Office because of the expense.
My concerns about switching are:
  • Finding an excellent and very strong curricular framework for teaching Open Office.
  • Compatibility. Our town is 99.9% Microsoft Office and I want my students to know to use it. Although many colleges use several environments, they all use Microsoft Office.

I really like the idea of saving money, but not sacrificing what is important and creating a lot of headaches for myself. Although I use textbooks as guidelines and not as a sole source for teaching, I've found a really dynamo of a textbook that I am thrilled about for next year.

So, what do you think?

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