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Windows 7: So many programs, so little...point?

18 Feb 2010   #1

So many programs, so little...point?

Howdy howdy howdy

I'm neither a comp genius or a total n00b. I've used windows since 3.1 as a kid and have seen and used lots and lots of programs. Recently, though, my predicament/discomfiture over this debacle has peaked and I am actually posting on a forum for help answering my questions!

Quite frankly, I have about ten programs / program suites that can all do the exact same things. I'm in college am a little fed up with all the possible choices and would rather just use a few suites that satisfy my needs, and I guess I want help deciding which suites to use.

I like MS but am not a hardcore stick to one brand name do or die person (*cough**cough*). I have bought Win7 Pro and love Win7 as I loved most all Windows versions so far. It does a lot of good things. However, here's my debacle

for ease of use across various platforms, should I go with OpenOffice, even though it's a little bland/powerful versus MS Office? Or should I go completely mobile with Google Docs? Maybe a combination of the two--they're both free and they're both effective and versatile, especially considering that I often have to work across five kinds of machines (my laptop and my desktop, friends' Ps/Macs, school Macs, and school Linuxes). Contrarily, I feel like I paid for MS Office so I should use it. But, I really only use Word, Excel, and occasionally Publisher or Powerpoint. Occasionally, as in, hardly ever. So, maybe I should uninstall everything except for MS Word--or, to be really minimalist, back to Google Docs...

On the topic of MS Office, let's continue onto email support. I use GMail. I've used Outlook, Hotmail, and Yahoo, and by far GMail is the best email system EVER in my opinion. When I installed MS Office I tried to port my GMail account over to Outlook, and yuck: it was messy and settings didn't work well and frankly I don't like Outlook compared to GMail. I use my internet browser to get my email instead of an email only program on my computer, and that's just fine with me.

On that topic, internet: Internet Explorer is inferior to Firefox or Chrome, at least for what I need. So, I used Chrome. This is again something I wonder--should I use all Google Programs? Wouldn't they mesh well together, instead of using this for that and that for this and yada yada yada?

Additionally: Windows Live. What the hell is it? I mean, if I use Photoshop for still graphics editing, don't want a photo manager, use iTunes for music, Sony Vegas or Final Cut (on other computers) for video editing, GMail for email, never use MSN Messenger, what is the point of Windows Live? Again, I feel like I've paid for Windows so maybe I should use the in-house Microsoft software that will mesh well together. also, if I have to install Windows Live for some other programs (sync software, or anything else), I feel compelled to use this software since it's on my computer and is sort of programmed to work with everything else MS that there is.

On the topic of Windows Live and synchronized programs/files/etc, should I bother with Microsoft Office Live? Isn't it just the MS Office version of Google Docs (an online shared/group workspace)?

I've currently got experience using three media production suites: Adobe, Sony, Final Cut Studio...those aren't too hard to pick--but how does MS's production suite hold up? If I use it, do I need a bunch of other MS software (Live, .NET, etc) to fully realize that suite's potential? What's the point?

I feel like in a few years I might be a Google Android/etc software user, due to the tendency for everything going mobile and share/transfer oriented. So should I start now? Do google office apps not hold up to the MS Office apps?

I know this might be an old question of what systems are better and seem like its obvious that you just stick with whatever you like best, but I think they all seem to be pretty good. The only ones I really am picky about are my media suites, and Sony is seeming the best to me now since it's quite affordable and I refuse to convert to Mac JUSTto use Final Cut Pro Studio.

I'd like to have everything consolidated, synchronized, and interacting the way its supposed to. What's the best way to get that to work? Windows Live? Get GMail to easily/cleanly display using MS software? Use SyncToy or some other MS program for syncing? I'm just a little tired of using like ten different suits to do ten different activities when it seems like each suite is supposed to cleanly incorporate every activity. It's sort of annoying to have a different avenue for every different activity. Any suggestions, folks?

I'd love to have anyone offer their thoughts/experience with having all these different suites, and what works well for them, and why. I'm a college student with a desktop and laptop--my laptop is a netbook I use for mobile text applications and data backup and minor work (GameMaker, Notepad++, networking, file transfer, audio editing). I'm going into short film writing and production (NOT just editing, nor is video editing my main focus, as of yet). I interact with various platforms and OS's and transfer files all over the place all the time.

Thanks so much for the ramble and for feedback.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #2

7 x64 | 7 x64

I have about a dozen or so favorite programs myself. But that doesn't mean they are for everybody, hence the other varieties. Open Office Writer is a decent application, don't know much about the other applications in Open Office. I am not sure if that suit integrates with any mail program at all. But somebody should be able to tell you. If you're a student Microsoft Office Professional can be had at a discount. You either paid for it, or you didn't. I'm sure you know it has the applications you're looking for. Outlook is, dated. I'm not sure what your fascination with document synchronization is all about but that's your business. But I sure wouldn't want to be limited to some made in Moscow cabbage role program with no other applications available to suit my taste. (no offense to our friends in Moscow by the way) I enjoy G mail to, and I find myself using windows live mail to catch up with two of those and another e-mail imap'ed from a website I would normally access through C panel. If you ever have to do that by the way, make sure you don't select all the folders available, but I learned from that mistake. And so in a way I'd like to think I could help someone else from becoming too frustrated in setting up a similar account. All part of the windows curve if you will. Plus there's a lot of talented developers and programmers out there. I guess my point is if we were all stuck with a handful of programs it wouldn't be much fun around here, and we all might become like those people standing around in Mac stores! (pun intended)
One more minor point, I can browse this forum and create a post like am now completely hands free using windows built in speech recognition. But for those with more demanding tastes Nuance has Naturally Speaking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 So many programs, so little...point?

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