libre office

Why Can't I Activate My Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office

Episode 1822

Margaret from Newport News, VA

Margaret installed Microsoft Office software on her husband's computer, but now it won't activate. Leo says that Office is now a monthly subscription, so Microsoft could be thinking that Margaret didn't buy a year's subscription when she bought the software. Check your Microsoft account to see. Check to see what the paperwork says about what she should be getting. It's also possible that the store that she bought it from may have given her a "gray market" card, meaning that the store separated the software from computers to sell them separately.

Can I Get a Computer Made in the USA?


Episode 1763

Jay from Boston, MA

Jay wants to know if there are any computers completely made in the USA? Leo says that even if you could get one, the components would probably be made around the world.  Accessories are another story. But an entire computer being made 100% in the USA? None come to mind. Check out this link at

Falcon Northwest is a computer company that builds PCs locally. Apple assembles the MacPro Towers in Texas. But even then, both source parts from around the world.

Is Subscribing to Microsoft Office Worth the Money?


Episode 1739

Charlie from Castle Rock, CO

Charlie wants to know if Microsoft's Office subscription is worth $70 a year. Leo says he subscribes, but there are just as well open-source alternatives for free. Libre Office is one of them. But there's also the free web version of Office called Office365, available at If he won't have a need for the advanced features of Office, like pivot tables for Excel, then Office365 may be a better choice.

Why can't Libre Office read my database files?

Libre Office

Episode 1710

Dale from Dallas, TX

Dale updated to Windows 10, and it screwed up his laptop. He had it all fixed, and it turned out to be a dead hard drive. So he has a new hard drive, but now the program he wrote in Access to collect his library of books won't open in an open-source database like Libre Office, while it worked before. What can he do? Leo says as long as Dale has the original Access database file, he should be able to convert it into something more easily readable by Libre Office. Dale can also try using the free Microsoft Access Runtime utility to read the database file directly.

How Can I Move Microsoft Works Over to a New Computer?


Episode 1624

Galant from Jacksonville, FL

Galant wants to know how he can get MS Works installed onto his new laptop. Leo says that if he doesn't have the original disks, it can be problematic to move a program over to a new computer. Works is more than ten years old, and as such, Leo recommends going with a replacement like Libre Office. It's open-source, free, and far more powerful. It's a full office suite and it's always kept up to date. It'll open his Works files.

Does Office come with Windows?

Microsoft Office

Episode 1558

John from Los Angeles, CA

John wants to know if Microsoft Office comes with Windows. Leo says it doesn't, but there's an open source option called Libre Office, which is free, and will do most of what MS Office does, including reading all Office document files. Buying Office is very expensive, but he can do a monthly subscription rate, which is about $100 a year for Office Home. It's the most affordable solution.

Why can't I activate Windows XP?

Linux Mint

Episode 1338

Ted from San Diego, CA

Ted has to install XP every 30 days, even though he bought it. Leo says it's possible that since XP is now "end of life," they may not be activating it anymore. Leo says that it's time for Ted to go to Linux.

Ted also can't install Microsoft Office. He tried to copy the program folder over and it won't work. Leo says it can't work that way. He'll miss important system files. He'll have to reinstall from the program disc.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10 or Linux?

Episode 1308

G.Scott from Minnesota

G. Scott is thinking of putting Linux on an old computer. Leo says that's a great way to breathe new life into old hardware. Another option is Chrome OS. CloudReady is the site he'll want to use to get that done.

G Scott also wants to get Windows 10. Leo says to get a fresh stand alone version of Windows 10. When it installs, he'll be able to input his Windows 7 key to authenticate to Windows 10. That way he'll have the free Windows 10 upgrade. He can then downgrade if he wants and can upgrade it later.

Is Libre Office as good as Microsoft Office?

Episode 1290

Paul from La Jolla, CA

Paul wants to know about Libre Office. Leo says that Libre is open source software and it's free. It has many of the same features as Microsoft Office. It's just as good, but is not as polished as Microsoft. Leo's a fan of it.

If Paul would rather have Microsoft Office, he should check out Microsoft Office Web. It's a stripped down version of Office that he can use online and it's free.