All of my Linux and BSD boxes are undergoing maintenance and upgrades at the moment, therefore I'm using my little Windows system for my day to day activities. Yesterday I found myself in need of a word processor, with a little more punch than Wordpad. I immediately thought of trying OpenOffice for Windows. I've using OpenOffice countless times in Ubuntu, and on my FreeBSD desktops, but never before on Windows.
After a quick web search I found the download link at Download OpenOffice.org. The Download was a 127MB .exe file. After virus scanning the file I began the install. First it verified the download, which was nice to see. Then it said it needed to unpack and copy the installation files to my hard drive. I allowed it to copy the files to the default location, which was my desktop (You can delete these files after installation is complete). I followed the instructions through the install process, choosing a complete install, it was very simple.
I'm really impressed with the polished work which has been put into the Windows build of OpenOffice. It's lovely to use, it has all of the basic functionality of Microsoft Office, and it didn't cost me $600+ AU. I'm enjoying using it, it feels really nice.
The complete installation gave me the following components:
OpenOffice Base :: BASE is a fully featured desktop database management system
OpenOffice Calc :: CALC is a complete spreadsheet program.
OpenOffice Draw :: DRAW is an imaging program, which gives you the ability to create graphics and diagrams.
OpenOffice Impress :: IMPRESS is a tool to create multimedia presentations, similar to PowerPoint presentations.
OpenOffice Math :: MATH is OpenOffice.org's component for mathematical equations. It is most commonly used as an equation editor for text documents, but it can also be used with other types of documents or stand-alone.
OpenOffice Writer :: WRITER is a fully equipped word processor or desktop publisher.
Each part integrates very nicely, allowing you to move your data from one component to another. OpenOffice is really easy to use, especially if you have used similar products in the past.
You can integrate all of your old files into it, allowing you to save or edit files in many formats. E.g. PowerPoint presentations, or Word documents can be edited or saved, allowing you to share and communicate with others easily.
OpenOffice is a very professional and complete suite. I'm impressed with the work which has been put into it. It's awesome to see a free product out there giving so much to it's users.