Hong Kong, China (PressExposure) August 04, 2009 -- Microsoft Office may be the dominant suite for office productivity software, but it sure isn't the only option. Aside from having many bugs and numerous security problems, Microsoft Office has one other big drawback -- the software costs a small fortune.
Clearly, it's not the only Office Suite you might consider to use. When it comes to Office Suite, the affordability is always an issue. When you are running on a budget the less costly alternatives are always welcome. We show you Top 10 Office Suite alternatives that just might be better suited for your business.
1. OpenOffice 3.0: The leading contender
This new version is the most serious threat to Microsoft Office's dominance. Polished and professional, OpenOffice supports nearly all Microsoft Office's functionality, at an unbeatable price: $0.00. It retains the classic command structure, so anyone familiar with older Office versions feels at home. OpenOffice handles all Microsoft Office files, including Office 2007's "X" formatsâwith native Mac OS integration, workbook sharing and a spiffier user interface. Costs nothing and does the job, but requires retraining. Moreover, enterprise users are better served by Star Office 8, it not frees.
2. Kingsoft office 2009: The smallest and quickest alternative to Microsoft suite
Fast, compatible, flexible Kingsoft Office 2009, it comprises of Writer, Spreadsheets and Presentation. Export to Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) directly from any application. With a download size of less than 50MB, this is the smallest and quickest Microsoft Office alternative on the market. Any organization can save on deployment costs and benefit from minimal system requirements. You can download via: http://www.ksoffice.net. I believe that you will be surprised that many features work EXACTLY the same as Microsoft Office. Switching to Kingsoft Office requires no re-training.
3. ThinkFree Office: The enterprise alternative
This is your office on Java. From a features/functionality standpoint, ThinkFree Office should be the leading contender for enterprise use. It's the only product in this roundup (besides Microsoft Office itself) that provides a Microsoft-compatible suite plus the multi-user backend collaboration, Web, mobile and enterprise services larger shops need. It also offers a rich API for developers to integrate document editing and viewing into the IT infrastructure, webmail, blogs, storage, groupware, ERP and CRM platforms. But, it saves and opens work very slowly.
4. Corel WordPerfect Office X4: It's the law
This just-upgraded classic remains cost-competitive and compatible with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and Adobe PDF. It's the only application with a "Microsoft mode" to emulate Office menus and keyboard layouts, an E-mail client with Outlook-class power and a mountain of fonts and clip art. Macro fiends will prefer its automation features over OpenOffice. And it's still the dominant word processor in law firms. We found the features rich, but the execution sometimes clumsy and it costs a significant amount.
5. Google Docs: All the basics, no bloat and social to boot
Organizations with simple content development requirements, or those who need occasionally to collaborate on documents, should consider Google Docs. A free service that works through a Web browser, Google Docs provides a functional but minimalist approach to documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms. Collaboration is its "suite spot," and there's probably no easier or more cost-effective way to share and work collaboratively. The caveat: Its file management capabilities don't scale well.
6. Zoho Office: Google Docs on steroids, O.J. and vitamin D milk
Zoho takes the online suite concept to its logical extreme. Its rich feature set should satisfy demanding users, while providing stronger sharing and collaboration than does Google Docs. The cost for this additional capability is increased complexity, but this shouldn't be an issue if you're used to Microsoft Office. Like Google Docs, Zoho can use Google Gears to optionally install a local version that allows users to work offline.
7. AbiWord 2.6: Power without the price or pain
If all a team needs is world-class word processing (law firms, anyone?), the open-source AbiWord is the answer. It's free, it's compatible with Word, WordPerfect, and OpenOffice, it installs in seconds (just 6 megabytes) and it doesn't push any extras, such as spreadsheets, presentations, databases and startup apps. The cross-platform AbiWord has a killer mail merge, optional command-line for document automation and an open plug-in API to extend or integrate the software.
8. Adobe Buzzword: Word processing in a Flash
If you don't mind the depressing user interface (what is it with Adobe and black UIs anyway?), Buzzword is worth a look. Adobe bills it as the first Web-based word processor, but it's not. It's the first Flash-based word processor, and that brings some advantages over Google Docs, such as WYSIWYG printing, great image/text flow abilities and a smooth, fast 3-D interface. Other plusses include strong collaboration, online/offline synchronization and great PDF support ('natch).
9. Addintools Classic Menus for Office 2007: Take that, Microsoft!
When Microsoft declared the Ribbon the future of the UI, third-party vendors rushed to fill the void. Most classic menu add-ins out there, however, are unstable and poorly supported. Addintools Classic Menus bucks this trend, with a polished installer, seamless integration, impeccable reproduction of the classic Office experience and great tech support. If corporate standards prevent alternatives to Office 2007, get the last laugh with Addintools' Classic Menus.
10. Atlantis Word Processor: Innovative, portable and secure
Take one part Microsoft Office, one part OpenOffice, roll in the ability to load and run securely from a USB drive, and you have found Atlantis. This small, fast and innovative word processor looks and feels like a mash-up of Office 2003 and OpenOffice 3.0, but the similarities end there. Features like built-in 256-bit encryption, automated backup and portability make Atlantis a great choice for law enforcement, law firms and (ahem) politicians.