Microsoft encourages Office alternatives

Microsoft Watch from Mary Jo Foley reports It Didn’t Take Long: Office Validation Program Goes Live. “Just days after announcing its plans to attempt to thwart Office piracy by using the same kind of validation mechanism it has instituted for Windows, Microsoft posted for download the first Office Genuine Advantage (OGA)validated component.”

I can’t think of a better way to get folks to look at the alternatives to Microsoft Office – Corel WordPerfect Office, IBM/Lotus SmartSuite, Sun StarOffice, OpenOffice.org, Apple’s iWork and AppleWorks, and other tools – than to treat them as criminal suspects and to prevent the “extended try-ware” rationalization we’ve all heard once or twice. People need to recognize that MS Office is no big deal and that there are a lot of other packages that can meet their needs with less hassle, less cost, less malware and perhaps even an open and standardized office data interchange format. There’s nothing to lose but the shackles!

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