There is always a debate as to whether someone needs the paid version of Microsoft Office or can get by with the FREE Open Office (or Neo Office for Mac). My rules of thumb —-
a) If your company uses an Exchange based e-mail service and you need to access e-mail often from home, you need Microsoft Office.
b) If you frequently exchange documents — Word, share spreadsheets and powerpoints with others — with co-workers, members of your congregation or social organization — you likely need Microsoft Office
c) If you are merely typing documents for yourself and saving them for your own purposes, sending them out for your own needs — I really think you can get by with Open Office (or Neo Office for Mac)
However, if you are on the fence — and either have a very old version of Microsoft Office or don’t use Microsoft Office at all — you do have a limited opportunity to test it out. Microsoft Office 2010 is in a public beta release, and even though its not official yet it’s quite stable. You can download and install it for free by going to the following address http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/default.aspx
You will have nearly 10 months to decide — is paying for an Office suite worth it? No credit card info is required. The trial will simply stop working on Oct. 31, 2010. Sorry Mac friends, no trial of Microsoft Office 2010 for Mac at this time. Microsoft is releasing a 2010 version for Mac later in the year around the time the Windows version is released for sale.