GoBe Software got their start in the late 90s developing an operating system. They later moved on to create software to compete with market leaders like Microsoft. One of their most successful ventures was GoBe Productive, an office software suite initially designed for use on GoBe’s OS but later retooled to run on Windows. While we were impressed by GoBe as a standalone suite, the fact that it cannot open or edit Microsoft Office 2007 DOCX and XMSX files significantly hinders its utility. GoBe Productive, while somewhat dated, provides a solid set of productivity tools well suited to the workplace and home office.
At a first glance, GoBe Productive is your run-of-the-mill office software suite. The program features a word processor, spreadsheet editor, graphic editor and a presentation utility. Nothing unusual there. What’s a new is the fact that all of the functions are bundled together and can be saved as the same file type. This makes keeping projects organized very easy on your PC. If you plan to transfer files to other users however, this can create some confusion. We found, that despite the convenience of having our docs, spreadsheets and images in the same file, the file conversion problems we encountered with other programs outweighed the benefits of consolidating files.
The word processor onboard GoBe Productive is basic yet highly functional. Only power users will miss some of the advanced features you can find on Microsoft Word or WordPerfect X4. The same goes for GoBe Productive’s spreadsheet. All of the calculations and macros you use in Excel are available on GoBe’s spreadsheet editor. The graphic interface isn’t nearly as slick and visualizing data results in some distinctly 90s-influenced graphs and charts, but the program is functional all the same.
GoBe Productive includes a competent spell checker and thesaurus. We lament the failure to include a grammar checker as we all rely on our word processors to catch misplaced or missing commas and double words.
We were impressed with the fact that GoBe Productive records a log of your work and allows you to “undo” up to 999 operations—a real lifesaver for users that don’t remember to save progress every few minutes.
Another useful element of GoBe Productive unavailable on competing programs is the fact that it uses sheets much like excel does to keep multiple projects stored in the same place. The only difference with GoBe Productive however, is that projects don’t need to be of the same type. With GoBe Productive you can have a spreadsheet, presentation, graphic and document saved in the same location. As long as you’re not doing a lot of file conversion, this is a great feature to help keep you organized.
GoBe Software doesn’t have the large staff or user community it once had and updates to the software are rare. Subsequently, while you might find useful information on unofficial user forums, GoBe doesn’t provide the most useful or active community.
Thanks to compatibility with major word processor and spreadsheet formats, GoBe Productive is a viable alternative to expensive software suites. Just bear in mind that GoBe Productive is not equipped to open or edit Microsoft Office 2007 files—this is a critical flaw in an otherwise excellent office software suite. In the age of Vista and Microsoft Office 2007, GoBe Productive is a bit of a dinosaur from the XP era. We can only recommend GoBe Productive to readers on a budget with basic needs.
Be sure to read reviews of our WordPerfect Office X4, Microsoft Office Professional and StarOffice picks in the category of office software suites for an idea of how to best meet your productivity needs.
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