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The Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office: Stop Wasting Money!

Discussion in 'Microsoft Office' started by Ablang, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Ablang

    Ablang Flightless Bird

    The Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office: Stop Wasting Money!
    Submitted by G.E. Miller on Sunday, 10 January 2010


    Is there a Free Microsoft Office Alternative?

    This may be old news for some, but apparently not everyone has made
    the switch from Microsoft Office, as you will soon find out.

    A few years ago, when I bought a new laptop, I was contemplating
    whether or not I should pony up the cash for Microsoft Office again.
    After a little research into ‘free microsoft office alternatives’, I
    was able to find a few. Those who make the switch are saving a bunch.
    Cost of Microsoft Office

    A recent scan of Amazon, yielded two common version of Microsoft
    Office, deeply discounted:

    Microsoft Office Home and Student, 2007 Edition: $83.99, or 44% off
    the list price. It include Excel, Word, and Power Point. I was shocked
    to see that it is currently the #2 piece of software sold on Amazon,
    years after it’s release! That’s why I decided to write this post.

    Microsoft Office Standard, 2007 Edition: $319.99, or 20% off the list
    price. This edition only has Microsoft Outlook, in addition to the
    software suite that the home and student edition has. I don’t
    understand Microsoft’s pricing here. You can get the Home and Student
    Version on its own for $83.99 and Microsoft Outlook 2007 for $87.49,
    however getting both in the same software package results in a price
    premium of 46%?! So much for the typical bundled package ‘benefit’.
    Geez, even Comcast gets that.
    Open Office – The Free Microsoft Office Alternative

    Open Office (a Sun Microsystems project) is the leading open source
    software suite, with over 100,000,000 downloads in the last year. Open
    Office, in my opinion, attempts to offer everything that Microsoft
    Office does and more. And it ‘excels’ in doing so (ah snap!). It even
    offers unlimited licensing use for business and commercial usage.

    If you didn’t know any better, there are often times when it’s easy to
    forget that you’re using an Open Office application versus the
    Microsoft alternative. And don’t worry about compatibility, as Open
    Office files are easily converted to their Microsoft counterparts.
    Here’s what Open Office has to offer:
    Open Office Calc – the Free Microsoft Excel Alternative

    Offering up just about everything that Excel does, Open Office Calc
    also allows files to be saved as .odf (open document format) – the
    international standard for spreadsheet file formats.
    Open Office Writer – the Free Microsoft Word Alternative

    I don’t miss anything in Writer that was in Microsoft Word. Writer
    offers wizards to do faxes, minutes, resumes, letters, agendas, and
    more. Since Writer is open, it also extends and offers free downloads
    of user created templates, much like Firefox and Wordpress do (we can
    save those for another day).
    Open Office Impress – the Free Microsoft Power Point Alternative

    With 2D and 3D clip art, downloadable templates, animation, and
    special effects, it’s hard to see how this presentation software is
    any bit of a downgrade from Microsoft Power Point.
    Open Office Add-Ons

    In addition to the MS Office basics, Open Office has a few other
    treats in store:

    * Open Office Draw – So feature rich that I’m much more inclined
    to compare the features in draw to Adobe’s Photoshop than Microsoft
    Paint. It even offers the ability to create flash files.
    * Open Office Base – A desktop database management system. Never
    used it, to be honest.
    * Open Office Math – You are able to create all kinds of math
    equations in this software and use them in Calc and Impress.

    What About Google Docs??

    Google offers its own software suite, fully supported by cloud
    storage, so all of your documents can be accessed anywhere and from
    any computer at any time. Whereas comparing Open Office to Microsoft
    Office is like comparing apples to apples, comparing Google Doc
    applications to Open Office or MS Office is like comparing apples to

    The depth of Google’s applications is not as extensive as the other
    two, however, they do tend to be sufficient for most uses, they are
    easily shared with other collaborators for multiple user editing, and
    they are saved on the cloud (where they should be). It is now also
    ridiculously easy to upload MS Office and Open Office files into
    Google Doc format, and export Google Docs the other way as well.
    Conclusion: I Will Never Purchase Office Software Again

    Between Google Docs and Open Office, I see no reason to pay for
    Microsoft Office again. Software is moving towards freeware and cloud
    computing and Microsoft has not kept pace. I can’t come up with a
    legitimate reason why you should keep paying the money for MS Office.
    Office Software Discussion:

    * Have you not made the switch from MS Office to Open Office and
    Google Docs yet? Why not?
    * What clever uses of Open Office and Google Docs have you come up
    * When is the last time you bought Microsoft Office software?
  2. Bob I

    Bob I Flightless Bird

    *SPAM* The Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office: Stop Wasting Money!

    Ablang wrote:

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