Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Every few years, I check in on how OpenOffice.org Writer compares to Microsoft Word. The first comparison came in 2002, the second in 2005. In those two comparisons, OpenOffice.org emerged as superior, not least for its greater stability. With Microsoft Office 2007 now out for six months and OpenOffice.org 2.3 about to be released, what's the situation today? To find out, I compared the two programs on the tools that most intermediate to advanced users are likely to use.

The Interfaces

Dozens of keyboards must have been worn out in denouncing the introduction of ribbons in Microsoft Office 2007. At least one company now even offers a program to give Microsoft Office 2007 its former look. However, stripped of the hype, ribbons are nothing more than a merger of menus and toolbars, and anyone who keeps an open mind about change should be able to adjust to them for most purposes in less than 20 minutes.