MS Works vs Open Office vs Google Docs

April 21st, 2008 by WordPlop

With Microsoft releasing a new version of Works that is advertisement supported, many people will be wondering which is better – MS Works, Open Office, or Google Docs. This is a comparison between the three.

Microsoft Works

MS Works is a home productivity suite that is smaller, less expensive, and has fewer features than Microsoft Office. MS Works has a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a database. It also has some other small features, but these are the main ones most people will be using. Works comes free with most prebuilt computers, and now Microsoft has inserted advertisements into Works to allow smaller PC makers to preinstall it and make it available to you for free.

Works doesn’t have many features, and it can’t create standard DOC and XLS documents. Instead it uses the WPS and WKS file formats. This means you will only be able to edit Works documents in Works.

Open Office

Open Office is an office application suite that is available on multiple operating systems. It supports Microsoft Office’s DOC format, so you can create and edit files that will be supported in both Open Office and Microsoft Word. It also supports many other formats. The thing that makes Open Office a competitor to Microsoft Office is that it is completely free and available under the LGPL license. Open Office is available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, BSD, and in part for Mac OS X.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a free web based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users. Several people can edit one document at the same time. You can create spreadsheets, presentations, and word documents through a user friendly web interface, and then save it to your computer, email it, or save it to Google’s servers. You can save as DOC or XLS, as well as other formats.

The only problem with Google Docs is that there are file size limitations for all documents you create.

The Winner

  1. Open Office
  2. Google Docs
  3. Microsoft Works

Open Office has the most features, it’s free, it supports standard file formats, and it’s available for many operating systems.

Google Docs is free, supports standard file formats, and has some unique features.

Microsoft Works is ad supported or free only when it comes with a new computer, doesn’t support saving as standard formats, and doesn’t have many features.

While Microsoft Office is better than all of these applications, these are the free alternatives that people might look into if they can’t afford paying $300 for an application. This is a completely unbiased comparison. Comment on your experiences with these programs below!




Posted in Reviews, Software

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6 Responses to “MS Works vs Open Office vs Google Docs”

  1. Ajay says:

    This is very good work regarding the office suites
    Google docs is $ 5o for per user (per year) ms office around $150 for three users and office comes in every three to four
    Google docs is not powerful as compare to MS office every one know that

  2. frankie muniz says:

    microsoft works sucks

  3. Alan Zisman says:

    While I’m not a fan of MS Works, it’s not true to say ” it can’t create standard DOC and XLS documents”… It can create documents in both those formats as long as the user knows (and remembers!) to use the File/Save As option and choose those file formats. The same is true of OpenOffice- though in OO, unlike MS Works, you can change the defaults and set DOC and/or XLS as the default file formats. But as installed, like MS Works, OpenOffice will save files in its own, less commonly-used formats.

  4. Rich says:

    I think you’ll find that MS Works (v9 atleast) supports .doc, .docx, .xls and .xlsx

  5. Ashley says:

    you can save as .doc, .docx …etc. nowadays, but MS Works still REALLY SUCKS!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    MS Works apparently is being discontinued by Microsoft:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Works

    I guess MS Works users will have to switch to something else…


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