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5/12/2015
06:06 PM
Kelly Sheridan
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8 Microsoft Office Alternatives

Microsoft's Office productivity suite may be the go-to choice for personal and enterprise use, but there are cheaper options available.
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(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

When we think enterprise software, we think Microsoft. It's no secret that Redmond is a dominant force in digital productivity for the world's homes and businesses, and has been for years.

Its flagship Microsoft Office has gone through tremendous changes since Word for MS-DOS premiered in 1990. At that time, the suite was an addition to Windows 2.0, and the computer mouse was considered a luxury.

Twenty-five years later, technology has changed and so has Microsoft. Under the guidance of CEO Satya Nadella, the Office suite is becoming more mobile and cloud-friendly. It's also available to users of rival platforms iOS and Android, a major step forward for a company that has historically limited its software to its own devices.

[ What else is cooking in Redmond? Read: Microsoft Office Delve: Updates, Mobile App. ]

In February 2013, Microsoft released its next-generation Office 365 suite, its most comprehensive cloud-based Office platform yet. The paid service brought common business programs like Lync, Exchange, and Sharepoint on top of traditional Office applications.

The Internet-based service made productivity easier for customers in the cloud. However, it also opened the door for other businesses to compete. While Office may be the most popular brand of productivity software, it is no longer the only viable option.

The past few years have seen the development of programs that can substitute Microsoft's pricey suite with little trouble. Customers who need a word processor, for example, but don't want to pay for Microsoft Word, can now access programs that are easy to access and use.

Alternative productivity suites are available in the cloud or as desktop downloads, depending on personal needs and preferences. Most allow users to view and edit documents from a range of file types, including .doc and .docx. The best part? A chunk of them are free or come at little cost.

If you're in the market for new productivity software, or want to explore the option of using free programs, check out our collection of recommendations. If you're using a product that didn't make the list, feel free to tell us about it in the comments section below.

[Did you miss any of the InformationWeek conference in Las Vegas last month? Don't worry: We have you covered. Check out what our speakers had to say and see tweets from the show. Let's keep the conversation going.]

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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DennisMark
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DennisMark,
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6/1/2018 | 9:40:55 AM
Pending Review
This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Techgmyth
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Techgmyth,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/24/2017 | 5:15:40 PM
Regarding this post by MSCHATSUPPORT For error code 30068-4 office 2016
I totally agreed with other people. And thanks for bringing this content to us.
Techgmyth
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Techgmyth,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2017 | 3:40:44 AM
Microsoft Live Chat
I totally agreed with OP. Thanks!
willkarter
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willkarter,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/15/2016 | 12:30:51 AM
Re: You seem to have forgotten Microsoft WordPerfect
I completely agree with you. The error of wordperfect one of the best times. I really used to find it a easy to use tool but the currest versions are way to complicated.
willkarter
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willkarter,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/14/2016 | 7:38:30 AM
Re: alternatives microsoft office error
Even i faced the same issue. There was a microsoft office error and am unable to resolve it. I tried contactng microsoft live support but that also did not work out.  Time to move away from microsoft office 365/2016/2013
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2015 | 3:11:55 PM
alternatives
I recently fixed a computer's friend. Had to install a new system (Win10). Long story short, when I was done she asked me: "hey, where is my Word, Excel, Publisher, etc."
 I could install Office again, but the one she had was the 2007, kind of old already, and who knows where I put the product key of that one. I wonder if I can just recommend one of these alternatives. I'm afraid that she is so used to Office that a replacement won't cut it.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
5/17/2015 | 2:09:26 AM
Re: You seem to have forgotten WordPerfect
Ugh! @Michael. I used WordPerfect for DOS and when I would try to print my reaction would always be - what the heck is this crap? It was always a useless mess. Then along came Word for Windows with its wisiwig magic and hallelujah I was saved. Fast forward to when I was hired to do a WP TO WORD migration at a law firm and let's just say I was like Typhoid Mary bringing death to reveal code lovers everywhere. The crux of my argument at the time was you done need to see the codes in Word; just apply the formatting you want and use a button or dialog box to turn off what you don't. That didn't go over very well and MSFT begrudgingly rolled out the Reveal Formatting feature which people hated because you couldn't change anything from there. And don't even get me started on styles! That was back in 2000 and never again have I encountered people more attached to a software program.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
5/17/2015 | 2:09:21 AM
Re: You seem to have forgotten WordPerfect
Ugh! @Michael. I used WordPerfect for DOS and when I would try to print my reaction would always be - what the heck is this crap? It was always a useless mess. Then along came Word for Windows with its wisiwig magic and hallelujah I was saved. Fast forward to when I was hired to do a WP TO WORD migration at a law firm and let's just say I was like Typhoid Mary bringing death to reveal code lovers everywhere. The crux of my argument at the time was you done need to see the codes in Word; just apply the formatting you want and use a button or dialog box to turn off what you don't. That didn't go over very well and MSFT begrudgingly rolled out the Reveal Formatting feature which people hated because you couldn't change anything from there. And don't even get me started on styles! That was back in 2000 and never again have I encountered people more attached to a software program.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
5/14/2015 | 10:42:15 AM
Re: You seem to have forgotten WordPerfect
>>  because Word Perfect was overwriting a .dll that had the same name as one of our core applications.  

Yeah, it's always the little things.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/14/2015 | 8:18:14 AM
Re: You seem to have forgotten WordPerfect
@vcole829, this reminds me of a story from way back.  We were a WordPerfect shop, migrated from Win 3.1 to Win 95 after all of the issues with Word perfect were worked out.  We still ended up becoming MS Office uses because Word Perfect was overwriting a .dll that had the same name as one of our core applications.  It was something with the Word Perfect update to run on Win 95 and we couldn't get an amicable solution worked out between the two pieces of software so we switched to Office.  MS Office wasn't the best option 20 years ago but right now they sit at the top of the hill and they have the peak well fortified. 
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