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Head to Head: Office 2010 vs Open Office 3.1

UPDATED: It's a battle of the office productivity suites as we look at how Office 2010 shapes up against its main open source alternative. We find out which is best in this head to head review.

Open Office Impress

Open Office too remains on a similar tack, with the pleasant addition of nicely designed new icons and a simple, no-nonsense interface relying on the tried and tested workspace design we became familiar with in earlier incarnations of Microsoft Office.

The simple design doesn't detract from the power and functionality of the software but does give Open Office the advantage of being more usable on low-end workstations or mobile systems.

Winner: Tie Microsoft's Office 2010 may boast a richer design but Open Office offers generally comparable basic functionality albeit with a less luxurious facade.

Usability

As we touched on previously, the length of time that Office has been in use afforded it huge advantage in its pre-2007 guises. Since then, post the re-design there have been complaints from some that they can't find what they want and are having to learn to use the suite almost from scratch again. Office 2010 is no different. It still uses the re-designed ribbon system (which is tweaked further in this release) and relies on the tabbed workspace rather than the older, more familiar context menus.

While this is one of Microsoft Office's biggest problems it has become one of Open Office's biggest boons. That tried and tested, not mended because it wasn't broken' interface that affords long-time users the productivity that they crave.

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