Have you considered that Vista and Office 2007 are not only pricy, but they’re also going to require some retraining for users?

The argument for staying with MS Office (from 95 to 97 to 2000 to XP to 2003) has always been that my users already know it and I don’t want to have to retrain them. Surprise! That argument is no longer valid!!

It’s time to re-evaluate options…

The user interfaces in Vista and Office 2007 have been redesigned (I’m sure they’re a fine improvement), but that can lead to some headaches for the IT staff. If you’re like most organizations, your average “corporate” PC users are pretty set in their ways and resistant to change – they can be quite vocal about change too. The new UI’s mean there’s going to be some retraining required if you plan to migrate – uh, “upgrade”. Of course, you could always just stay on Windows 2000 and Office 2000 — because MS will support them forever… right??

My point is simply this…

If you’re going to retrain anyways (AND YOU WILL HAVE TO), why not consider retraining them to use a FAR LESS EXPENSIVE option — OpenOffice.org Novell Edition. It’s compatible with MS Office documents and it also supports the standard ODF document format. OpenOffice.org Novell Edition is available in Windows and Linux editions, and comes with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

You can download an evaluation of OpenOffice.org here for Windows or part of SLED 10.

Don’t believe that retraining is required.. Check out this video review from CNet. Practically the first words out of their mouths are,

If you’ve gotten used to using Microsoft Office applications, then prepare to relearn them.

On top of all this, the default file format is not backwards compatible with MS Office XP or previous versions (think back to your transition from Word Perfect — that was fun wasn’t it??). Fortunately, Novell is working to make OpenOffice.org Novell Edition compatible with this new Office 2007 file format.

Let’s review:

  • MS Office 2007 requires end-user retraining, and so does Vista
    • If retraining is required anyways, is “retraining” for Linux and OpenOffice that far of a stretch?
    • Especially if you consider that SLED and OOo cost a tiny fraction of what MS Vista and Office 2007 cost
    • NOTE – OpenOffice.org (OOo) Novell Edition runs on BOTH Windows and Linux desktops
  • MS Office 2007 defaults to a new file format which is not compatible with their older products
    • OpenOffice.org Novell Edition will soon be compatible with the new file format and is already compatible with the old file formats today

Choice is a beautiful thing! Novell can help give you a choice!