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Any non MS alternative to Outlook?


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Is anyone using Open Office?

I'm thinking of replacing my office desktop computer.  Even if supplied with a new machine, MS Office is expensive so I'm thinking of going over to Open Office which is free, but I'd like to know if any of you have any experience with it.

The big problem is it doesn't seem to have an Outlook type programme in it.  I don't know how I could live without Outlook, as I use it to keep track of all our gite bookings.  With its task list,  reminders to ask for balance payments, diary planner, e-mail, daily schedule, etc. it's an essential management tool.

There must be a free alternative, surely?

Patrick  

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Pat - is there aany way you can claim to be a student? MS Off has a healthy discount for education. Personally I couldn't do without it.

I have looked at a free version of Open Office and I didn't think it was worth what they were charging for it...

It almost got a big boost a couple of years ago when HMG was about to take it up, but TB met with BG, taxpayers dosh changed hands and...

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Patrick,

If you already use Outlook, do you not have a Microsoft Office CD as Outlook is not included with new PCs – you might get Outlook Express if a PC comes with Microsoft Works, but you wouldn’t get Outlook.

If you do have a Microsoft Office CD, in order to comply with the Microsoft End User License Agreement, all you need to do is uninstall it from your first PC and re-install it on your new PC.

As Dick says, the Office Student License version is the cheapest way to buy Office.  If anyone in your household is at school / uni etc, you qualify.  In the UK, it costs around £100.  It’s the same product as you’d pay £250 for only without the printed manual (which doesn’t amount to much).

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I use OpenOffice pretty well all the time these days. I actually have a purchased legal copy of Office but use Open Office in preference. The main feature that made me move was that Open Office is much much better at generating PDF's that reproduce the document accurately (without having t purchase additional Adobe software). It was a little fiddle getting the dictionaries to check for either English OR French words (something I have never managed to get MS Office to do at all properly) but it seems stable now.

However, Open Office does not include an Outlook equivalent - so I still use MS Outlook for Outlook related things, and Open Office for Open Office related things. I have Open Office set to handle Word documents, etc. though there are small differences in "interpretation" (e.g. page header and footer positioning) - these are not major.

Open Office is definitely worth a try. Some will like it more that MS Office (I do), others will prefer MS Office - which is the "way of the world". Fortunately trying Open Office is free.

I actually got Outlook (2003) free/bundled with my Pocket PC/Windows Mobile device - all my MS Office licenses are pre 2003. Unfortunately, whilst Thunderbird may be great for e-mail (I don't know because I don't use it, it (Thundebird) is only really an e-mail client and does not include many of the other aspects covered by Outlook. I have not yet found a suitable alternative to Outlook (though please do let me know if you find one).

I think I had better go and post to the "Alcohol Abuse" thread now.

Ian
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I do have the old Office 2000 disks, but I long ago sold the company to which the software is registered and I have 4 PCs so should probably be paying 4 licences, even though 2 of the machines are just emergency backups.

I'm looking for an alternative because I want to get all the computers running the same legally licensed software and I think microsoft Office is expensive.  Something like £165 if you buy it with a new machine.

I still want to be able to open all my old Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. files, of course.

It sems you can't buy Outlook without buying the whole MS Office package, but Outlook is the one really indispensable bit of software in it.

Patrick 

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If you are eligible to use the student edition of MS Office, it now gives you a license to load it onto three computers without any additional cost.

It is worth noting that MS have changed the way they deal with the student edition of Office. You no longer have to obtain an activation code, after having a card signed and stamped by your school / college. The CD supplied with the box provides you with a full working version. They just take your word for the fact that you are eligible to use it !

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Patrick,

I don’t think I’ve ever read the full terms of the Microsoft End User License Agreement, but I thought the EULA allows you to install the same copy of Office (or whatever) onto multiple PCs so long as the application is only used on one machine at any time?  I may be mistaken, but if true, would that cover your use?

Alternatively, you CAN buy Outlook on its own – PC World UK are selling Outlook 2003 for £74.99 on their website – 50 pence less than the student version of Office!  Just enter “Microsoft Outlook” in the search box on the home page for details.  Still a lot of money if you need 4 copies!

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[quote user="Eslier"]If you are eligible to use the student edition of MS Office, it now gives you a license to load it onto three computers without any additional cost.

It is worth noting that MS have changed the way they deal with the student edition of Office. You no longer have to obtain an activation code, after having a card signed and stamped by your school / college. The CD supplied with the box provides you with a full working version. They just take your word for the fact that you are eligible to use it !

[/quote]

I suppose I could say I was studying to qualify as a professional golfer......

Or I'm doing an immersion course in wine...

Or an intensive course in retirement studies (with grandparenting module)....

Thank you for a very useful tip.

Patrick

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Ecossais wrote

I don't have a current end user EULA available because my software is covered by a developer licence, but I doubt if dear Bill sees it that way. The activation process that is embedded into the present generation of MS software is designed to prevent users from easily installing from the same disk onto multiple machines.
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I use the student version of office on my 2 PC's but two of my lads are at college and use the PC's. When I loaded it, it doesn't mention registering as a student etc. So how they  keep tabs on it I'll never know. Cost about 1/2 - 1/3 of the normal office. However it doesn't have all the features so check before buying.

It does have Excell, Outlook and Power point 2003

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I use Open Office for everything especially the 'Presentation' program (like powerpoint) which exports lovely PDFs. All the other features in Office XP have very similar functionality and are just as good in Open Office

For mail I use Thunderbird from Mozilla which I find is also better than Outlook. You may have to search the Mozilla site for plugin features to cover all the functions of MS Outlook

It's all free! Hurrah

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   If you go for Open Office   fine .......but   " BE WARNED "   there is an offer for 4 free  CD which includes  "Open office " from a bunch of ****** called "Think All  Publishing " all you pay is the postage .....Once you give them your card details for the postage like a book club you will be sent software you dont want  and a return address that is a box number in the US that the mail will not be delivered to .....n After 10 days they will take the cash out of your card as it was not returned  to them ...........I have read the blog  on this lot selling  software you can down load for free ............they have caught loads of people ..but .not me !.........If you have come acccross them and you have been caught then ...you can  always contact your Card issuer and tell them you think it has been compromised and get a new card issued .....

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I'm a very infrequent user of word processing/spreadsheets but I quite like Open Office (especially as it was free) but whenever I open a new document or spreadsheet there is a dark grey coloured box on the left hand side of my screen that has a question mark at it's centre. It takes up about a quarter of the screen and is intrusive.

Presumably somewhere in the set up you can get rid of it but I haven't found that somewhere. Any help out there please?

Benjamin

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I have never found enough add-ins for Thunderbird to even come close to Outlook functionality. If you use Outlook as an e-mail client - fine. However, if you use Outlook as a Personal Information Organiser (e.g. including Calendar, Contacts, Notes, etc.) then Thunderbird unfortunately falls a long way short (as that is not what it is).

If anybody knows of plug-ins and extensions to Thunderbird to extend the (comparatively) poor Address book (Thunderbird does what it needs to for an e-mail client), to add a calendar, to add synchronisation options, etc. then please do let me know.

Ian
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[quote user="Deimos"]If anybody knows of plug-ins and extensions to Thunderbird to extend the (comparatively) poor Address book (Thunderbird does what it needs to for an e-mail client), to add a calendar, to add synchronisation options, etc. then please do let me know.

Ian[/quote]

I seem to recall something from Mozilla called Lightning which adds calendar functions to Thunderbird.  No idea exactly what it does, though.

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