I went to a friends house yesterday, she was on her computer typing up an assignment. I noticed something strange at first, I thought she was running the Apple Works Wordprocessor on Windows XP. But then I took closer look at the screen and found out it was OpenOffice.orgs Writer.
I said, Christine, why are you using this when there is Office Word on your computer? She replied, I don’t have Word on this computer. I said, I don’t believe you, so I took the mouse from her and scroll through the Programs Menu, she was telling the truth, Microsoft Office was not installed.
But I was very surprised by her comfort in using Writer, its like it never bothered her for a minute. I can assure you though, she was going to meet hell at school when it came to conversion. Especially when it came to School Based Assessments, which is a part of the Caribbean Examination for the practical part of Information Technology which involves the core apps Word, Excel and Access.
I pondered for awhile and decided that I would donate my copy of Office 2000 License to her, since I don’t use it anymore. I’m looking at this from compatibility and ease of use perspective. Core areas of learning include creating Word documents and using Access databases as data sources for Merge fields in Word, and I don’t think OpenOffice offers that familiar, high level of compatibility. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the open source counterpart, but when it comes to getting the job done, especially in schools here, there is nothing else like Word, Excel and Access.