Sorry but those who think OpenOffice is the same as Word/Excel simply dont have to use them that often when saying that… I swear I tried to use OpenOffice, and it just doesn’t have the same capabilities/stability. Wasted more time trying to get the damned thing to work than the cost of the license of 80 bucks.
I value the work of software engineers enough to know that some software is worth paying for, especially when it’s regularly updated for bugs/features. For an office environment, spreadsheets are popular because they are sandbox for displaying content – you can go simple just like you can go really complicated. Bottom line, everyone needs to have the same software if you want all files to be compatible. Excel is the supreme spreadsheet, and it’s got four decades of software improvements to get to that state.
Unix evangelists have got to put this one to rest – Office365 has fairer pricing policies than they used to. Subscription based / per user, so costs go up and down based on the user count in the organization. In the SME I work for, just the savings from not maintaining our own email server (1 FTE unix sys admin) made our entire Office 365 licensing agreement a good deal. Bonus: the Unix sys admin was delighted to get to work on other higher value projects than the email server.