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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Clarisworks/Microsoft Office/Alternatives?

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Hello, I know Microsoft has scheduled a release of "Office" next year for the Mac, but I don't know if I want to get a program that I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about in terms of usability (some are not able to open documents made in older versions of Word, for example) and I also don't want to be bogged down with software that has too many features. (from what I hear)
Is this document incompatibility a problem that only happens for Windows computers? Is there a lot of unnecessary features in Office for Mac?

For background, I do not have Microsoft Office for Mac. I currently run Microsoft Word 2000 for a Windows 98 Compaq PC and a G4 Apple eMac for Clarisworks 6.2.9. I will be updating to a Mac Mini or iMac very soon.

Who makes Appleworks/Clarisworks? Is 6.2.9 the last version? Are they officially not making any new versions of Appleworks? Does it have a replacement I don't know about? What alternatives are there to Microsoft Office for mac?
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