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WordPerfect Office X6 vs Apache Open Office 4.0.1
on June 25, 2014
In January this year I reluctantly "upgraded" 2 of my desktops from XP to Win7 (avoiding Win8). This "upgrade" made it impossible to continue using Microsoft Office 97 with which I am proficient.. So I decided to look for an office package that would not be deliberately obsolesced after I got really expert with it. After a bit of looking around I decided to try both Word Perfect Office X6 and Apache Open Office.
WORD PROCESSORS: After about 5 months experience with the word processors, I think the Apache Open Office text processor is more consistent with my needs, since its menus are much closer to Word 97 than is the Corel product. Also I find it easier to set up templates. Also I have learned that bad templates can actually corrupt the Word Perfect installation, requiring much sweat to fix (WPwin16.exe actually disappeared !!!) . Also,while WP6 claims to be able to read documents from an impressively long list of word processors, it did not do a good job loading Word 97 documents, which to me is a fatal flaw, as I have so many documents written in Word 97 format. Also, while Apache Open Office is explicitly devoted to running on all Windows platforms from 95 to Win8, and will most likely cover Win9. Corel makes no such promise. Also, Open Office runs under Linux and Mac OSX and is ported to other systems as well.
SPREADSHEETS: Given my background with Excel 97, I have found the Open Office Calc spreadsheet easy to use, and that it does a good job reading Excel 97 files. I cannot comment on the Quattro Pro spreadsheet that is bundled in Word Perfect Office.
PEDIGREE: By the mid 1980s WordPerfect was a beautifully designed and very powerful DOS-based word processor with company headquarters located in Orem Utah, and made the transition to Windows in the 1990s. Recently it fell on hard times and was sold to Corel Corporation, which has been in the business of acquiring premium software brands with a good customer base. I consulted Wikipedia and found that OpenOffice has a strong pedigree, having started out in Germany in 1985 as an office suite called StarOffice, that was used on Zilog, Amstrad and Commodore 64 computers, and which was purchased by Sun Microsystems in 1999, and then in 2000 was changed to open source freeware, presumably as an attack on Microsoft by folks angry at the software behemoth for one or another reason. It was later taken over by Apache Software Foundation, a volunteer non-profit organization, which has numerous software projects, and is clearly composed of ultra strong programmers.
COST: Open Office costs zilch. On the other hand, Word Perfect Office X6 is very inexpensive when compared to competing Microsoft products.
CONCLUSION: From reading the reviews of Word Perfect Office I can see there are many folks who have used Word Perfect products for many years and love them and find them powerful and reliable. If I were a veteran WP user, I would no doubt stick with the brand, unless Corel does something really awful. But coming from Microsoft Office 97 I have found that I prefer Apache Open Office 4.0.1 to Corel Word Perfect Office X6.
One other reason I prefer Open Office is that it runs under all versions of Windows and under numerous versions of Unix, including a Linux type operating system called Ubuntu, which I am trying out because I would like to avoid the never ending cycle of forced obsolescence imposed by Microsoft.