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Which Office Suite Would You Choose?

An IM chat sometimes takes the strangest turns...
Just as Firefox has continued to make inroads in the browser market, so have StarOffice and ThinkFree made strides in gaining at least some mindshare in the market. But if you're the one making the choice - or perhaps more importantly, footing the bill - what are you gonna decide?
[17:30] Lori MacVittie: If you had to choose an Office suite - Star Office vs Microsoft Office vs ThinkFree...which would you choose?
[17:31] GnomeWorks: Now that is an interesting question.
[17:31] GnomeWorks: Star is free, but sucks.
[17:31] GnomeWorks: Microsoft is expensive, but it has all those stupid little features everyone wants/needs/etc.
[17:31] GnomeWorks: ThinkFree roxxors, but it lacks just a few functions that make it not as good as MS (so far as people assuming what capability your suite has).
[17:32] Lori MacVittie: Interesting analysis.
[17:33] Lori MacVittie: The question is, do you think ThinkFree is more value for the $$ than Microsoft?
[17:34] GnomeWorks: It's a trade-off. TFO is nice and cheap and almost as functionable as Microsoft, but it's lacking like three things that have come up even just for me in the past six months - templates, change tracking...
[17:34] Lori MacVittie: That's only 2 things...what's the third
[17:34] GnomeWorks: I was guesstimating the number. I think it's just those two.
[17:34] Lori MacVittie: Still, change tracking and templates are huge things
[17:34] GnomeWorks: Yar, that they are.

So, you have free but not as nice. Expensive, but all features included. And somewhere in between, with most of the capabilities you want but lacking a couple important - at least to the enterprise - features.

I think the question I forgot to ask was, "Are templates and change tracking really worth the $300 price differential?"

If I'm paying for it, definitely no. But isn't that true of just about everyone? The company pays for Microsoft, so why would you even think about exploring the options?

But if you had to pay for it, I'm betting you might make a different decision. Like only pay for the extra functionality when it was necessary, instead of doling out expensive software like it was candy. If 90% of the enterprise can do without templates and change tracking, and need none of the extra bits offered within Excel (such as some of the advanced data binding capabilities) then why wouldn't you go with a less expensive, fully format interoperable option?

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