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Are You Through With Microsoft Word?

For as long as I have been using a computer to write and create documents I have been using Microsoft Word.  The word processing component of the Microsoft Office software suite can be trace its history back to 1983.  I currently own Word for Mac 2011 on my machine.  The product is loaded with features.  It seems with each new version users have additional formatting options to choose from.  Lately, I have found myself using Word less and less.

Most of the time, I do not need all of the formatting tools in Word.  Often, I'm fighting with the program as the "auto format" seems to take over my document.  Lately, instead of fighting with Office I have been using Google Docs, the web giant's web-based, FREE productivity suite.  All you need is a Google account, then you can start creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations.  The best part about Google Docs is the fact that your work is stored in "the Cloud" with Google.  You are able to access your creation anywhere there is Internet access.  No more lost files, they are safe on Google's servers.  Also, users may make their document public and share it with others.  This is great for collaboration on a large project.  Gone are the days of attaching files and emailing them to co-workers.  Simply make the file public and share it with those that you need to work with.

Now I will be the first to admit that Google Docs is not an equal to the Microsoft Office Suite.  It is really not even close.  The features that Microsoft includes with their software are amazing.  However, for most users it is over-kill.  Most of the time, users can get-by with Google Docs.  Throw in the cloud storage and ability to edit and share documents in real time, it is easy to see why I find myself using Word less and less.  Charles Cooper of CNET has an interesting take on the subject, as it appears he is finished with Word altogether.  Any Google Docs users out there?  Have you dumped costly Word for the free, web based Google Docs?  Or are you like me, still jumping back and forth?   


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