Microsoft Office and Alternatives

Microsoft Office 2010 Official pricing comparison chart

Microsoft office has been around for a very long time and has become the standard for many office formats.  Microsoft Word for writing documents, Excel for Spreadsheets, Outlook for Email, PowerPoint for presentations and more.   There are a myriad of different version of Office available for purchase, and even some for free.  Some of the most common versions are the “Home and Student” which only comes with Word/Excel/Powerpoint and the “Home and Business” which includes Outlook on top of the aforementioned programs.


One of the main advantages of Office is its popularity.  Most database programs, Customer Relations Management software and a whole assortment of other programs integrates and works well with it.  There are many addons available as well to add even more functionality than it offers out of the box.  Office works well and can be a very powerful tool for those that know how to use it.  One of its main disadvatages is the price.  The full blown office professional version runs as much is $399.00 on the Microsoft store.


Queue the competitors…

A common alternative to the Microsoft Word program is Corel’s Wordperfect suite, which is commonly used by law firms and for dictation.  Its interface has remained mostly unchanged over the years which means very little learning curve is required for new versions, simply familiarize yourself with it once and you’re set.  Corel’s Wordperefect still costs money but most consider it to be well worth it.

Free Alternatives to the Microsoft Office suite include LibreOffice and OpenOffice .  Both try to offer similar functionality to the Microsoft office suites at no cost.  While some of the features of the LibreOffice and Openoffice suites come close to the Microsoft counterpart, they fall flat in other areas, most commonly in compatibility and integration with other programs and a general lack of features.  If you just want to be able to open and write word documents and excel documents these free alternatives may be just what you were looking for.  If you’re looking for more advanced functionality you may want to pony up the cash for Microsoft’s offerings.

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