With the practical monopoly of Microsoft in most computers worldwide, people tend to forget that there are valid alternatives in the market - both for operating system and office suites. In this article, alternatives to Microsoft office will be presented.
Local installation suites
Alternatives First clear alternative is a full substitution of the Microsoft suite. Since many years already, parallel developments are available, like the one from IBM or Sun Microsystems. Those alternatives were and are fully valid, and they are becoming more compatible with the file formats from the Microsoft suite, so there is no excuse anymore... Among the most popular ones, just two picks here: - Open Office It can be downloaded for free from OpenOffice.org and includes word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, vector graphics and native exporting to PDF format in all programs. It was developed from the original Star Office from Sun, but later it has been updated by a development community as an open source software. - ThinkFree With similar characteristics, this is also a full suite that can work with original MS files. It is available for most modern operating systems, including Android - which opens a bright future for this free suite.
Online suites & no register edition
But, what can you do if you may not modify the registry of your computer? Maybe, you do not have full administrator rights to install some specific software?
In this case, you can find, for example, a portable version of OpenOffice (at PortableApps.com) that can be installed in a USB drive without touching the registry of your Windows system.
Alternatively, ThinkFree offers an office online suite, so that all apps are online and you don't need to install anything on your computer - all you need is a web browser and to register yourself as user.
Limited version of software This two directions are changing the software industry. As the availability of online software rises, companies like Microsoft itself or Adobe are already offering (limited) verisons of their software online, so that they would keep their market share - at least, avoiding the usage of alternative office programs. Competition of online applications
The near future may see a war for online applications. Google is also offering office tools that integrate with their search motor and the Gmail environment - you can even download the web browser Opera from them. Most likely, purchased software will decline in favour of purchased support or custom-made upgrading.