By Dannie Phan
Microsoft Office Suite, also known as Microsoft 365, has long been a giant in the productivity software space. Since its launch in 1988 by Bill Gates, Microsoft Office Suite has grown and expanded its bundle of productivity suite applications to include Excel, OneDrive, OneNote, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, Publisher, and more. Microsoft reports 60 million active monthly Microsoft Office customers around the world. Every suite application includes cloud storage and syncing capabilities across all your favorite devices on both iOS and Android. Microsoft Office Suite is priced in a subscription model, ranging from $5 to $150 per month based on the plan you choose. Additionally, Microsoft Office offers a discount to students and teachers as part of their Office in Education initiative.
However, for all its many accolades, Microsoft Office is not cheap. If you’re a fan of productivity without the price tag, we’ve got you covered. For those interested in more affordable or even free Microsoft Office alternatives, check out these ten high-quality options to find the best fit for your personal and professional needs.
Ten Best Alternatives to Microsoft Office
FreeOffice is a free office suite made by SoftMaker. It includes applications for word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. FreeOffice is available for download on Windows, MacOS and Linux operating systems.
Most Google products are free and can be accessed by creating a Google account. But G Suite is Google’s paid option for businesses who want to upgrade from their free offerings to a more robust platform with features like admin controls and no ads. Applications include, but are not limited to, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Sites, Forms, Gmail, and Chat. Plan pricing starts at $6 per month per user.
LibreOffice, formally known as OpenOffice, is a free, open source software suite that rivals Microsoft Office Suite. Applications include Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Math (formula editing), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Impress (presentations), and Base (databases). LibreOffice is compatible with all the most common file formats like .doc, .docx, .xlxs, and PDF. It can be downloaded in multiple languages on MacOS, Windows, or Linux.
Check out this free, cloud-based software with productivity applications like a PDF editor, document organizer, and spreadsheet maker all in one convenient browser. WPS is created by the company KingSoft and is one of the most popular platforms currently in the marketplace.
iWork is Apple’s productivity suite. It includes Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Keynote (presentations). iWork comes preinstalled on all Apple devices and can be accessed on the web via your iCloud account. iWork is compatible with the following web browsers/browser versions: Safari 9 or later, Chrome 50 or later, and Internet Explorer 11 or later.
Apache OpenOffice is a free open-source software suite. The bundle includes word processing, databases, graphics, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. You can download it in several languages on all common operating systems. Apache stores all your data in an international open standard format and is able to open and edit files types from other common office softwares like Microsoft Office.
Calligra Suite is an office and graphics suite created by the company KDE. It contains applications for spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, vector graphics, and even editing databases. It is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux as well as tablets and smartphones.
WordPerfect is one of the earliest competitors to Microsoft Office. It includes applications for word processing, photo editing, spreadsheets, and presentations as well as macro management. It is currently only available on Windows. Get the standard package for a one time purchase of around $250 (keep an eye out for periodic sales!) or download the free trial version. The initial WordPerfect price tag may scare you, but remember, Microsoft office is a subscription model, which will likely end up costing you more in the long run.
GraphiteDocs is a great alternative to Google Docs/G Suite if you are concerned about privacy and data protection. GraphiteDocs is a cloud based system of applications that encrypts your information to ensure utmost privacy. Use their tools to create and edit documents, share them with your team, and collaborate with others in real time.
Lastly, Polaris is another office suite system for creating and editing documents, slideshows, spreadsheets, presentations and more. Download the basic version for free or upgrade to a Pro plan for $5 a month.
All in all, it is clear that while Microsoft Office Suite is the largest and most well known productivity software, it is not the only one. There are plenty of affordable or free alternatives with comprehensive functionalities and user-friendly interfaces to help you get the job done. If you need a budget friendly option for personal or business use, or simply aren’t a fan of Microsoft products, give one of these ten options a try. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get to work!
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