Simplifying Technology

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Sunday, 23 June 2013

My Word

One of my neighbours recently purchased Microsoft Word (and maybe more of MS Office as well).  She had persevered for several years with Open Office (which of course, is free) but was never really happy with it. For example could never get the spell check/dictionary stuff to work.  I think this was an installation problem, I remember that installing a dictionary in Open Office was a bit of a challenge.  Since then I have seen a couple of the documents my neighbour has written.  They are well written and formatted correctly, and the spelling is pretty good.  However there is nothing special in them to warrant the sophistication (and complexity) of Word.  Everything in these documents could have easily been done with Open Office, or with my favourite free Word Processor - Google Drive (or Google Docs as it used to be known).

While this may not seem significant or important, it just reminds me that there are so many choices out there, and making the right decision is not easy.  I wonder if my neighbour even knows about Drive, even though she is currently migrating to using a GMail address.  For my neighbour, and most people who just need to write the occasional simple letter or document, I'm sure Drive would have been perfectly adequate, a lot simpler to use, more secure (Cloud storage/backup), and free.  Of course nobody makes any money selling free software, I'm sure the computer sales person didn't offer it as a choice.  Anyway my neighbour is happy and there is no point in changing that choice now.

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