Microsoft office is too expensive and the domination that Microsoft enjoys over office tools is deeply entrenched in our business environment.
However, there are reasonable alternatives to Microsoft Office out there and most of them are absolutely free. Because for the majority of people who use office do not use one tenth of what they makes them unique, these
The most popular is open office. Open office was developed by Sun Microsystems a direct competitor with Microsoft on large servers and business systems. This software is distributed free of charge and works almost exactly like all of the office suite.
The second alternative is actually web based and called thinkfree.com. I have not used this platform as much as open office but what I have seen is pretty impressive. They provide you with a Gigabyte of online space to store information and their online applications work just as advertised. Once again the service is free, all you do is sign up online.
Both of these applications work with the files that are produced by the Microsoft Office suite so you can send them to anyone and they will be able to open them. For most people this is a great alternative to spending hundreds of dollars on the Microsoft product. They both have support for Word, Power Point, and Excel documents and will work in a way that is familiar to anyone that has used the Microsoft products. So the question now becomes, do you really want to pay for Microsoft’s overpriced product?
Big Tech Microsoft Office Alternatives
Big tech is always competing with each other. The biggest downside to all of these platforms is they are still collecting your data if you are using them.
That being said, they are all free to use and integrate with the products that each software company supports.
Microsoft Office Online
If you love office and want to keep the look and feel of your favorite programs, then getting Office Online is a great option.
You will have access to all your favorite office apps and your files can be saved to your Microsoft OneDrive or you can download them to your computer.
Microsoft has been around a very long time so they have made sure they are compatible with any device across pretty much any operating system.
Google has taken a big bite of Microsoft’s former monopoly on office applications.
Google Drive works with any web browser and with your android device. Since Google Drive is web based it is compatible with anything that can get online.
Apple isn’t going to sit on the sideline while Google and Microsoft steal the attention of their user base.
iWork is a solid offering that integrates easily with your Apple products. I have the same feeling about it that I do Apple maps. It works and gets you there.
Of course the drawback is it only works with Apple products and anything before IOS 12 (we are on 13 as of this writing).
Alternatives to MS Office
If you want to get away from big tech and their data gathering addition, these options will do for you and many are downloaded to your computer where all files are stored locally.
Libre Office has done as good a job as anyone at creating an office solution to compete with the full featured Microsoft Office.
The suite of office alternatives is comparable in most ways. Unlike most other suites they also include a database program to compete with Microsoft Access.
Open Office is one of the oldest of the office alternatives. I first happened upon them back in 1998.
The platform has changed hands but the project continues now
Zoho has been quietly sitting in the background doing the best impression of Google Drive I have ever seen.
They have a giant library of apps to choose from and have a free option for everything. Just like the big tech guys, they give you more support and features if you pay.
FreeOffice by SoftMaker
Free Office works seemlessly with Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files.
What makes this one interesting is that you can install one piece at a time. So if you only need an alternative to Excel, you can install just the FreeOffice spreadsheet option.
Calligra is a 100% free suite of office utilities. The suite does have the ability to import most MS Office files, but it will save them in the ODF format.
Calligra is one of the most robust office suites because it offers more than the three most used programs that Microsoft offers.
Samsung is a big fan of Polaris Office and has included their app on many of their smart phones.
What sets Polaris apart from many of the other free alternaties, is that they will also give you one gigabite of storage online.
Similar to the online version of MS office because they offer both a free and a paid version.
They do allow you to purchase full versions of individual parts of their suite instead of having to purchase the entire platform.