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  1. #1
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    Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    I just ran on to an amazingly cheap ($20) software package called "Office Suite 2003". It mimics MS Word and MS Excel rather closely, although I didn't spend a lot of time examining all of the features. Does anyone have any experience with this package? It could give Microsoft a run for their money.

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    It would help if you posted a link.

    Are you sure it's not an illegal copy of MS Office?

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    If you are looking for an alternative office suite you could try OpenOffice.

    OpenOffice is an open, feature-rich multi-platform office productivity suite. The user interface and the functionality is very similar to other products in the market like Microsoft Office or Lotus SmartSuite, but in contrast to these commercial products OpenOffice.org is absolutely free. A new version, OpenOffice 2.0 is due to be released in the next few weeks.

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    (Edited by HansV to make URL clickable - see <!help=19>Help 19<!/help>)

    Hi Hans,

    I don't think it's an illegal copy, as it is different in some ways from MS Office products. However, it is definitely a knock-off, as it duplicates nearly everything. Look here: ValuSoft Office Suite 2005 - CompUSA.com or go direct to ValuSoft's page here: Office Suite 2005

    I was quite surprised when a friend installed it and showed me the package. It has a word processor and a spreadsheet plus some other app that I didn't explore. I didn't have time to dig very deeply into the word processor, but it certainly mimics MS Word in many respects. There were a few obvious differences, but not many. The layout was almost the same, the various functions worked about the same. It was missing some of the more esoteric Word functions (in some ways it looked like a knockoff of an older version of Word). It claims compatibility with .doc and .xls files, and it seemed to open an existing Word document without any problems. Again, it was only a cursory look.

    I'll be able to give it a more detailed look next week, but I must say that I was rather surprised at the performance and even more so at the price.

  5. #5
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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    Thanks - it's a different product indeed.

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    Sounds interesting Chuck. I can't find much in the way of reviews. Maybe you could post your critique if you get to have a play with it.

    Alan

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    Today I spent some more time evaluating this extremely inexpensive product, and I remain very impressed. In Help | About it listed the program name as 602Text copyright by Software602, Inc -- whoever that is.

    It emulates Word albeit with some differences. However, if you are familiar with Word you would be right at home with this product. Although the colors and toolbar icons are a bit different, they follow the Word layout closely. Some of the menus were a bit different, but they had most of the same functions you find in Word sometimes in a different place. I opened an existing Word 2003 document for testing. It opened without a hitch and worked very well..

    It has the Normal, Print Layout, and Outline Views (I don't recall if they had the Web view, but they did have something called HTML which I think may be the same thing). An interesting twist was that it doesn't show page or section breaks in the Normal view, but it does show them when you turn Show/Hide ON. I actually quite liked that feature.

    Styles were implemented somewhat differently, but it does have the feature. It had just about the same Basic Shapes, Block Arrows and Callouts that you find in Word, but you didn't have to acces them from a drawing toolbar. (Can't remember if it even had a drawing toolbar).

    Save options include PDF (which worked just fine), and the default Save As format was "MS Word for Windows 97-2003. (*.DOC)" Tables worked slightly differently. I could insert pictures and have text wrapped around. Also could insert an object from the companion spreadsheet program. (I didn't get into that program except to see that it, again, mimicked Excel pretty well.)

    I didn't find the Auto-Correct feature, but it did have some sort of spell checker that I didn't have time to explore. It would generate a TOC and an Index. I don't know about others such as table of authorities. The footnote feature was there.

    I only had about 15 or 20 minutes to have a look, but this is definitely a direct competitor to Word and the price is unbelievable.

    I was not surprised to find that some of the language indicated that English was not the author(s) first language.

    I would be willing to bet that this suite is quite popular in third world countries.

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    > listed the program name as 602Text copyright by Software602, Inc

    Ah, well that makes sense. 602 was around with StarOffice, EasyOffice and OpenOffice when they all had their free and pro versions under development. 602 seemed to fade away from memory, but was obviously still lurking out there somewhere. It used to receive the same sorts of reviews as the others - John Hood's done some reviews of <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> office suites, but I don't know how current they are.

    Alan

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    It looks like 602 is no longer free, but the cost is nearly negligible.

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    Sure, but my point was really aimed at where it "sprung from". It seems to be similar in that respect to StarOffice, which I believe no longer offers a free version, but is similarly very low cost. In fact (IIRC) OpenOffice emerged once there were no longer any freeware office suites on offer. I don't know details, but I also believe that the governments of a few countries have adopted at least one of these suites as their "official" choice. Similarly, Linux has been adopted over Windows. So they have certainly made their mark.

    Alan

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    OpenOffice.org was based on the code Sun acquired from Star Division, and starting with version 6, StarOffice is a "value-added" version of OpenOffice.org.

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    Right, I knew it was something like that. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Alan

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    Re: Office Suite 2003 (2003)

    Seek and ye shall find... <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Not the 2003 version, but it looks like they have made an earlier 602 Suite <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>ware:

    "FREE alternative to MS OFFICE! 602Pro PC SUITE 2001 is an integrated office suite compatible with Microsoft Office documents (DOC/XLS) designed for computers running Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000.The suite is composed of four full-featured applications: a word processor,spreadsheet, graphics editor and digital photo organizer.This suite is COMPLETELY FREE for commercial and non-commercial use.
    Licence: Freeware
    File Size: 15.0Mb
    "

    Well hidden, but downloadable from here.

    Alan

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