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 support

So while support a plenty is on offer for both suites, it's the accountability aspect that will matter most to businesses. If you've employed a third-party to advise you and they provide bad advice or expose you to certain risks that could adversely affect either your industry reputation or customer perception, there is generally a way of protesting via the legal guys.

It's not so easy to try and do the same with the open source online advisors who give their time freely and where many openly profess they are enthusiasts rather than professionals. And if your head potentially rests on the corporate chopping block if things go wrong, sometimes it's much safer to take the easier option.

Winner: Microsoft Office 2010 There really is no substitute for solid, commercial support even if it does come at a price and Microsoft has become expert at delivering it.

Value

If support were a shoo in for Microsoft, one must assume that value will be a shoo in for Open Office, as it's open source and therefore free. But this contest isn't as clear-cut as it may appear. While Microsoft's Office 2010 will cost home users' 99 and business users 449 the value must be viewed as relative.

To a home or small business user, we would consider Open Office to be far and away better value as it offers all of the basic functions without the cost, but to business users the cost of Microsoft Office is heavily supported by its weighty feature set and extensive support networks.

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