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Would you consider ditching Microsoft Word for Google Docs?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / May 1, 2012 7:16 AM PDT

To get some perspective of this poll, read this blog:
How I learned to say, 'Hi, Google Docs; bye, MS Word'

Would you consider ditching Microsoft Word for Google Docs?

-- Yes. (Why so sure?)
-- I'm undecided. (What's holding you back?)
-- No. (Why not?)
-- I already have. (Have you ever regretted it?)

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Libre Office
by wizardb / May 1, 2012 8:59 AM PDT

Better than either choice you have listed..M Office is stupid expensive and Google Docs means having to rely on them to maintain your work and if you net link goes down your hooped!

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Would you consider ditching Microsoft Word for Google Docs?
by ndlicht--2008 / May 1, 2012 9:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Libre Office

What about Java's free open office? How does that fit in this discussion as a choice?


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Ditching Microsoft Word
by RogerCaven / May 1, 2012 9:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Libre Office

Libre Office is very good and will do all we want.

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The price reality is
by gbswales1 / May 1, 2012 9:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Libre Office

the reality is that relatively few people buy Microsoft office at the price listed - if you work for an organisation which has a site license then you may get it for a MUCH lower cost under home use, you may have a son or daughter elligible for a heavily discounted version. I agree if you pay full price it is worth thinking twice but I have in my time seen student discounts available for £35 for the whole suite - including Access (none of the other offerings include such a full featured database.) You also dont generally have to worry about file types when sending files to work etc. If you can get it for £50 or less it is a good buy but if you have to pay more then for domestic use one of the open source offerings mentioned should suffice. If your needs are very simple, if you always have internet access and, if you trust Google, then you will be fine but for me Microsoft office /Open Office plus free dropbox is a much better option

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Trust ?
by drykert / May 1, 2012 9:03 AM PDT

I know what to dis trust about micro higway robbers but Google has less than glowing track record in the trust department.. Once anyone misuses my trust they get my disadain for life. I worked 39 plus years as an R.N. if you can't trust your co-workers you have breaks in the healthcare. When anyone every broke that trust they were banished. I use the same policies in the rest of my life.

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Trust issue
by ColdWest / May 30, 2012 3:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Trust ?

Just like humans, programs can improve over time with correct adjustments.

Just like humans, to err is human (read programmers)... when errors are corrected,
eliminated, then surely to forgive is truly divine - IF you take the time to learn and accept
the changes.

Forgiveness is a human quality that is sometimes slow to come by, but the peace of mind
that follows is very worthy of consideration. A life lesson for some?

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Ditching MS Word?

I am unlikely to do that since I use both Word and Excel frequently and like their flexibility. The cost for Student and Teachers edition in usually less than $100, and over the 4 or 5 years that I have it on a given machine, it will easily repay it's cost by it's flexibility. If I was strapped for cash, I might consider doing something like that, but for me, the cost is way less than $1 a day. Probably a quarter or less. I have been using MS Office for well over 10 years, and enjoy the changes that they incorporate in their new versions. I have a lot of free software on my Windows computers, but always willing to pay for MS Office. I must have thousands of files that have been created with them, and I am a home user. MS Office has the power and flexibility that I want, and I am not a Microsoft Fan-boy!!!! There are a few free programs that they have created for Windows 7 that I have never used and probably never will.

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Why not try Microsoft Works instead

I dont have Word or Google I find Works does it all and updates as well

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Too limited
by ultraboing / May 1, 2012 9:34 AM PDT

MS Works is even more stripped down than Google Docs. You can't open Works docs in Word and visa versa.

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No, not Google Docs

For one, I try to avoid Google since we're nothing but statistical tools to them (I know, probably applies to most other companies as well, but at least they're more humane about it).

Second, I can't always assume I will have an Internet connection to access a document I might need right away.

Personally, I really like Office, and there isn't anything out there that works as well as OneNote, InfoPath, or Excel. Not to mention the integration with SkyDrive, SharePoint, Office365, and even other Office suites. We always here about iWork documents, or OpenOffice documents being converted to Office format, not the other way around.

I do heavily use iWork on my Mac, iPad, and iPhone, and do think I can replace Word, Excel and PowerPoint with iWork if I really had too, but can't replace other parts of the Office Suite.

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Ditching Microsoft Word for Google Docs.
by astones / May 1, 2012 9:17 AM PDT

I would not for the simple reason that Google has invades my computer with sneaky tool bars, add ons, and extensions.

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by mal_aus / May 1, 2012 1:59 PM PDT

Only you can allow tool bars and add ons from Google. Nothing sneaky about that.

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Google Docs. Where you are the product.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 1, 2012 9:27 AM PDT

I think the above nailed it where Google Docs can't be used by most of us for the reason we become the product.

LibreOffice is fine for most of us but I use Office for the simple reason the office supplies it. It's a retail version so it never expires and works very well. Price isn't so bad after we think about how long we've used it and the lack of problems.

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Because Microsoft puts it out!

MSOffice (word, etc) costs way too much and is actually not that easy to use for a new beginner. Even for myself, someone who has been using MsOffice for decades, there are still many areas (and problems) that I get into and have no idea how to resolve them; furthermore, where the info is located in the application and how to utilize it is very aggravating, things like format problems or printing; the list goes on. And MsExcel could be much more user friendly than it is. Lastly, when a new version of MsOffice arrives, it is often not enough like the previous version and takes too much time to learn and get used to.

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Don't Need Much
by Bill0567 / February 3, 2016 4:17 PM PST

I agree that each upgrade involves using a lot of time to find things that you already knew where to find on the old model. My biggest use of any computer is a Word program, since word processors no longer exist. The next thing is e-mail and then some internet usage for research. Other than that I have no further use of the beasties. I resented having to buy a whole package of programs with Microsoft Office 2007. I only use Microsoft Word and that's it. The rest is a waste for me and my time.

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Google - NEVER - NOTHING GOOGLE !!!!!!
by john3347 / May 1, 2012 10:15 AM PDT

I would NEVER even consider anything Google even if it were possible that it had some advantages over whatever was the current "king". I will ABSOLUTELY not promote Google's personal information harvesting and distribution practices no matter what the product. It is so silly to see these people that preach high security measures yet turn their entire life over to Google. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!!!!

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Here, Here
by Glenn51 / May 1, 2012 10:11 PM PDT

A man after my own heart!! I'd rather use a stone stylus and reed paper that trust Google. I've gone to great lengths to remove any and all ET Phone Home (Google) software. Why not take your work and post it on YouTube and edit it there. It's just as safe and secure!!! Why not work up your documents in the local newspaper, same thing.
While your at it, take the locks off your front and back doors or better yet remove the doors. It's safe, it's your house and "no one would ever snoop inside your house!" Yeah, right!!!!!!!!!

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Google owns YouTube, too...
by btljooz / May 3, 2012 4:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Here, Here
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by ColdWest / May 30, 2012 4:07 PM PDT

Unsupported generalities, rant, rant, rant!

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Of Course!
by ultraboing / May 1, 2012 10:21 AM PDT

First of all, kudos to Lee Koo for running such an informative forum. I've been a subscriber for quite some time now. This is the first time I've felt moved to chime in on a discussion.

I have been using Google Docs since June 2006, and have been very satisfied. Personally, I have had no problems with Google. I was sick and tired of Microsoft's stranglehold on productivity software. MS's prices are premium and their planned obsolescence forces us to buy new versions. "Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time." Microsoft has sucked BILLION$ out of consumers by using planned obsolescence.

Documents created on newer versions of Office often cannot be opened for reading or editing on older versions. MS Works is no alternative -- Word docs are not compatible with Works for example. Same with with Excel, Powerpoint, etc. You get the picture.

I mainly use Google Docs to create Documents and Spreadsheets, but you can also create Presentations (a la Powerpoint), Forms, Drawings, and Tables. Any of these can be downloaded to your hard drive, as well as being shared with others in the cloud (with password protected privacy control). Other can be limited to reading only or be allowed to edit documents. All user's edits are tracked, and you can see who changed what and when the changes were made. Google Docs can also be converted to the PDF format (for free).

Google has continually improved the functionality and features over the past six years that I have been using these products. Best of all, this is FREE productivity software. Why pay for something that you can get for free? Microsoft spends a huge amount of money on advertising and marketing -- that's what you're paying for when you buy their products. I don't see a future in this model. I've been able to function quite well in business and at home without paying Microsoft's inflated prices for almost six years now.

For those who don't "trust" Google, or cloud computing in general, there are still FREE alternatives to Microsoft Office products. offers full-featured, open-source productivity software that is available to download and use for free. It is mostly compatible with MS products. MS has tried to make it incompatible in the past in order to continue their near-monopoly on the productivity software market.

Now I only wish a practical alternative to MS Windows existed. MS has had a monopoly on operating systems since the early days of the PC.

No, I don't work for Google. I am a person who isn't into throwing away my hard earned dollars. I do not fear Google docs or People are resistant to change and Microsoft is well aware of that. If you're happy throwing your $ away, feel free to continue to do so.

For me, and many others, Google Docs and/or have proven to be a viable alternative to Microsoft's productivity software.

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You want another OS?
by btljooz / May 3, 2012 4:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Of Course!
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Used MS Office 2003 since 2003 and never have had trouble
by mikethaler / May 6, 2012 6:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Of Course!

Never have trouble reading docs people send created by new versions. I send them docs I create and never have had a negative response.

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So have I...
by btljooz / May 6, 2012 8:40 AM PDT

"Used MS Office 2003 since 2003" BUT I have had problems opening certain documents from newer versions of MS Office to the point that I've been extremely thankful that I also have Open Office installed, too. I think it quite possible that the reason that you have "never had any trouble" is because those sending you documents realized that those recieving those documents may not have had a newer version of Office and, therefore, saved them as .docs rather than .docxs .

Case in point: A friend once sent me some .docxs which I could NOT open with my MS Word but OO Writer opened them just fine. After I figured out what was going on, I then saved them in .doc format with the OO Writer and then could open them with MS Word, too. (I, initially, had thought that there may have been some sort of corruption of my MS Office installation and was very relieved when I found that that was not the case.) After my friend found out about my problems they simply saved the documents I was working with for them as .docs instead of .docxs in order that we could both deal with them in MS Word. This was so that the formatting in those documents wouldn't be messed up like the slight incompatibility between Writer and Word can cause at certain times.

So, some time when you have the inclination see if you can actually open a .docx with your MS Word 2003. Wink

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practical alternative to MS Windows
by mal_aus / May 6, 2012 3:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Of Course!

No need for Microsoft at all. Alternative OS's are Linux and Mac and there are probably others about. Unfortunately a move to Mac also locks you into their stuff to a large extent. But there's also lots of stuff about that replaces all of the MS software and most of it's free as is Linux.

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Would you consider ditching Microsoft Word for Google Docs?
by CobraII / May 1, 2012 10:33 AM PDT

NO because I don't use MS word any way.

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Open Office suits me
by llucyy / May 1, 2012 10:50 AM PDT

I have been using free open Office for ages and I get Powerpoint, Word, Excel, Publisher clones all OK for nix!

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Trusting Google Docs?
by Aoman / May 1, 2012 10:57 AM PDT

Trusting Google Docs?

That's why it is called "Cloud Nine."

Trusting my words to the security of Google Docs would be like trusting the virtue of my virgin teen age daughter to the madam of the whorehouse down on the corner of Fourth and Market Streets.


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by ColdWest / May 30, 2012 4:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Trusting Google Docs?

Ignorance truly must be bliss - try before condemning!

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Not Ditching MS Word

For several reasons I'll stick with MS even though I would prefer to use anything but MS products. In fact, I use Open Office for personal writing. I have tried Google Docs. It's not that much different from MS Word --but it wasn't as flexible as I needed given that I'm frequently preparing documents for both online and print.

Basically, I won't jump to Google Docs yet because

1) It's a trust thing.I don't want to support Google as long as they practice harvesting. I work with proprietary documents all the time--I don't trust their storage--despite their "promises."

2) I'm in the education biz where students must use MS Office. Why? It's the business standard. At least now, they must be familiar with it. Also, requiring students to submit documents in MS Word makes for consistency for faculty grading online. Making certain you have conversion packages for every word processing package conceived becomes impossible.

3) I also work with documents with combinations of American, Asian, and European writers (most I never meet). These documents are extremely technical (loaded with equations, complex graphics, and weird (to me anyway) pictures.) We found Google Docs just didn't handle them as efficiently as Word which everyone had available (not all of those I work with can consistently access Google Docs).

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You're on the money
by mal_aus / May 1, 2012 2:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Not Ditching MS Word

I agree with mpfalersweany to a large extent. I have MS Office 2012 on board and have ditched Open Office in favour of LibreOffice which is built by the original Open Office builders. I also use Google Docs. Between them all I have a very workable set of products.
MS Office for consistency with the outside world, although since the advent of the dreaded ribbon there is some problems for people who have earlier versions. There is no real substitute for Excel.
Libre Office for the odd job like modifying PDF documents and some drawing stuff.
Google docs for collaboration and providing a point where documents can be shared. Google docs come no where near the quality and ease of use that the other products do. I also don't trust their security with sensitive documents.
If I was to start all over again I probably would not go the the expense of MS Office but run with LibreOffice and Google docs as the support.

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