Options to avoid ultra-expensive Microsoft Office

by Robert Myles

If you’ve recently tried to upgrade to a new version of Microsoft Office, you might be astounded by the price that it commands. It can cost over $400 for the professional version. Quite a pretty penny to pay.

Rather than paying Microsoft’s rather hefty fees, you might be more interested in looking at some of the alternatives that are out there.

One very reasonably priced alternative to Microsoft Office is Microsoft’s own Works. This is basically a stripped down version of the more robust Microsoft Office. However, Works usually does about almost everything the typical office user might need, and in most cases would be perfectly sufficient. What Microsoft does with Works is usually use an older version of it’s products and put in Works, so unless you need the newest whizbang features, you’ll most likely find the product to be just what you need.

Another excellent alternative would be Open Office. It’s a freeware version of Office created by developers as Open Source. What that means is that the programming done on Open Office is done out in the open by developers around the world.

The best part of Open Office is the price, completely free. It’s a great choice for most users, and remains very compatible with the industry standard Microsoft Office products. There are free alternatives to Excel, Powerpoint, Word and even Access which Microsoft Works doesn’t use. The files it creates are compatible with other Microsoft Office programs. Which means that you’ll be able to send the files to other people and they’ll be able to open them normally. This is very important in this day and age of information interchange.

One way of dealing with documents that is gaining a lot of steam is Google Documents. By simply creating a Google account, you can get free access to Google Documents, and immediately start creating word and excel documents very similar to how Microsoft Office works.

One of the best parts about Google Documents, is that you never have to worry about losing your documents due to a hard drive going bad, as they are housed directly on Google’s servers with backups.

Google documents allows you to share the documents with your co-workers or friends. In our office, we’ll use Google documents to collaborate on projects together. It becomes very easy to share documents, and work on them together.

You can create compatible documents using multiple alternative sources. Even though Microsoft Office is the leader, it doesn’t mean you have to spend all that money to get your office productivity done.

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