Sure, Microsoft Office v. X is a great productivity suite, but it may be a bit pricey for some folks. If only there was a product that could read and write Microsoft Office format files, and how about being able to run Office on a platform other than Mac or PC? Suzette Towler-Petitto, Marketing Communications Specialist at ThinkFree, told us how their ThinkFree Office product can address some of these issues.
ThinkFree Office, released back in March 2002 as a download, and now available on CD-ROM, is a inexpensive, Java-based application which can read from and write to documents in Word (using ThinkFree Write) Excel (using ThinkFree Calc) and PowerPoint (using ThinkFree Show) documents. This is where the similarity ends.
One thing that makes ThinkFree Office cool is that it is a Java application. This means is can run on most platforms that support Java, including Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. This is great news for multi-platform environments, since ThinkFree Office could eventually eliminate the need for translators and other nasty software.
Another advantage of ThinkFree Office, at least what we think of as an advantage, is that it supports a subset of the features of the full Microsoft Office suite. The benefit is a cleaner, leaner, less bloated application. Since ThinkFree Office is a Java application, and Java isnit known for speed, reducing bloat should help offset the Java performance hit.
ThinkFree Office includes some other neat features, like ThinkFree Folders, an alternative way to browse the contents of your hard drive, and CyberDrive, and iDisk-like virtual storage space.
The final advantage of ThinkFree Office is the price. At only $49.95, cash-strapped organizations, college students and others can finally afford a decent suite of office tools for about a tenth of the price of you-know-who.