Microsoft Office alternatives

Are you always rooting for the underdog? In the world of productivity suites, you don't need to pay a lot to get the basic tools for reading, writing and arithmetic. Read the reviews to find out what's in each bundle, from the freebies to the full-featured suites.

It's no secret that Microsoft dominates the productivity suite market, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to go. Corel, Sun Microsystems, Apple, IBM, and others offer alternatives at a fraction of the price of Microsoft Office 2007. Corel WordPerfect Office X3 sports interface improvements and one-click PDF, HTML, and XML publishing. The lesser-known StarOffice 8 provides basic productivity tools and throws in a couple of extras, such as a drawing program. OpenOffice 2 is Sun's free version of StarOffice. And IBM just rolled out a free test version of its Windows- and Linux-compatible Lotus Symphony suite.

If you to take productivity tools wherever you go, then you can pick from online services including Google Spreadsheets -- now with Presentations too -- as well as the free plug-in for Microsoft Office that enables you to save ODF files.

The indie suites also provide unique benefits. For example, Corel WordPerfect is the tool of choice for writers and lawyers who need more control over long documents. ThinkFree 3 may be handy for business travellers who want to tweak a document using only a Java-enabled Web browser. Among the desktop programs, however, only iWork, Microsoft Office, ThinkFree, and OpenOffice work with Macs. Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac is expected to be released next year.


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edgy posted a comment   

vikingbrad: openoffice and star office are the same product.

 

BeBob Esq. posted a comment   

I tend to favour SSuite Office’s free office suites. Their software also don’t need to run on Java or .NET, like so many open source office suites, so it makes the software very small and efficient.

http://www.ssuitesoft.com

 

Longinthetooth posted a comment   

I don't see how any of the products compared can be considered alternatives when none include a replacement to Outlook. Any Office suite must be based around the basics of Outlook, ie, e-mail, calander/diary/task list. If none include an alternative, is there a standalone alternative that can be integrated with any of the alternatives.
It really is a worthy objective, and something I think such articles can help achieve if they actually say publically what is essential.

 

dan_rox77 posted a comment   
Australia

Does anybody know whether NeoOffice is any good?

 

vikingbrad posted a comment   

Pretty silly not to include OpenOffice.org which makes probably the best free alternative




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