Microsoft Office has been the standard in home and office productivity software for almost two decades. However, Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise isn’t the only productivity suite on the market anymore. In fact, there are some excellent Office alternatives that are absolutely free. Here, we look at some MS Office alternatives, and see how they stack up:
One excellent free alternative to Microsoft Office is a suite known as OpenOffice. OpenOffice allows you to create, edit, and manage text files, presentations, and databases in the same way that you would with similar Microsoft Office applications. In fact, almost all Microsoft Office documents can be viewed and edited within OpenOffice. You can share almost all files seamlessly between both programs.
OpenOffice is comprised of 6 basic applications, most of which correspond to a similar Microsoft Office application: Writer (Word), Calc (Excel), Impress (PowerPoint), Base (Access), Draw, and Math (Equation Editor). With a huge set of features, a simple and familiar interface, and complete compatibility with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice is an excellent alternative to consider.
For Mac users, consumers have a unique option: iWork. iWork is another comprehensive home and office productivity suite that includes similar programs to MS Office and OpenOffice. iWork is also completely compatible with Microsoft office, and can read, write, and edit various Office files. iWork is an excellent choice for mobile users as it is available not only on Mac laptops and desktops, but also on the the new iPad. This makes it incredibly easy to share documents between a work or home computer and an iPad.
iWork ships with three main programs: Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. Pages is a word processing application much like Microsoft Word, and can open, save, and edit Word documents. Keynote has features comparable to Microsoft PowerPoint, but also has some unique features, like the ability to drag and drop media from iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, and Aperture directly into your presentations. Numbers, much like Microsoft Excel, is a spreadsheet Application that gives you the ability to organize data and create graphs and charts. You can download iWork for the iPad at $9.99 per application. iWork for Mac will run you $79.00.
The cell-phone market, however, is far less saturated with Microsoft Office alternatives. Because of their small screens and keyboards, cell phones are hardly the ideal hardware for intense word processing, presentation editing, or database organizing. Yet, for those on the move, sometimes these Office applications are a must.
One great alternative to MS Office Mobile is an application called Quickoffice Premier. Quickoffice is only $19.99, and the program allows you to view, edit, and create office 2007 documents. Quickoffice is currently available for the Symbian OS, iPhone OS, BlackBerry OS, and Palm OS.