A few creative options for working without Word

The court injunction barring Microsoft from selling copies of Word with Extensible Markup Language features technically goes into effect in October, although Microsoft’s motion for a stay and its appeal of the decision will likely delay it. And we tend to agree with those who predict that a deal will be reached between Microsoft and i4i, whose patent Microsoft was found to have violated, and Word will go merrily along.


Related stories:

Microsoft continues battle to save Word
Microsoft formally appeals Word patent ruling 
Imagine a world without Word 
Microsoft fires up the haters 
Federal future cloudy for Microsoft Word 
Court ruling puts brakes on sales of Microsoft Word


But if that doesn’t happen, what are the alternatives? We gathered suggestions, some practical, some perhaps less so, from veteran users around the office.

Corel WordPerfect. Many folks have fond memories of WordPerfect, which they consider superior to Word. But they are memories — could WordPerfect rise again?

OpenOffice. The free version of Sun Microsystems’ StarOffice is gaining popularity, both for its price and functionality. But what happens to OpenOffice with Oracle’s takeover of Sun is an open question.

Star Office: OpenOffice with a price tag, for those who would really rather pay.

Wordpad. Hey, it’s also free and has advanced word-wrap features. But no spel chek.

Xywrite. Has that cool, retro blue-and-yellow color scheme and soothing grinding noise each time it accesses the disk. But you need a computer made before 1985 to run it.

Emacs and vi. Highly functional choices of real Unix pros—a qualification that, sadly, leaves out most users.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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