I am looking for the fastest cheapest no-headache solution to Office-2003 compatibility across 1 Vista PC + 1 MacOSX machine. So: comparisons across Mac and Windows between bundles of StarOffice vs OpenOffice (3.3.0) vs MS-Office
(I hate MS-Office 2007 and all its obscurantist bloated menus and flabby file formats with a burning passion. So Office-2003 compatibility (.doc not .docx, .ppt not .pptx). Mind you a filter on an Office-2003 product to retro-import MS-Office-2007 documents would be useful.)
Obviously I would strongly prefer to have the same product (and same version) on both machines, but as per below, that seems to be a huge headache. I appreciate fast informed answers because I need it yesterday. Please include URLs where poss.
I did some research and to my knowledge, there is no multi-seat (3-node) bundle across Mac + Windows, am I wrong? I am eligible for student pricing. Do you have to buy separate Mac + Windows licenses/bundles, or not?
My findings so far, across Mac + Windows - please tell me what's right or wrong:
- StarOffice vs Office: in general, StarOffice is less buggy, less crash-happy, smoother, leaner than OpenOffice (opinions?). OpenOffice crashes like billy-o (at least, the 2008 Windows version sure did) and seemed to be inherently unuseable.
StarOffice: v9 on Windows is free (through GooglePack), however on Mac is 30-day trialware, thereafter $35. I guess a hackish alternative is to run StarOffice (Windows) on a Mac under one of the virtualization offerings (which one? any experiences? obviously that would also need seamless interoperability with the host's native filesystem).
OpenOffice for MacOSX native (Aqua, for Intel) - thumbs up or down, people? stability? leanness? bloat? ADDENDUM: apparently NeoOffice is a very popular fork of OpenOffice specifically to improve stability and speed native on MacOSX. Downside is I really don't want to run OpenOffice on the PC. Some historical comparisons of older versions of OO vs NeoOffice from 2008 and 2009. Consensus seems to have been mixed, especially that OO beats NeoOffice on bigtime on coldstart delay. But that was 2 years ago. Any recent experiences?
MS-Office for Mac: stable, but too damn expensive (even as Student or Home) and too much bloat. Opinions?
A useful CNET forum discussion here.