Microsoft Office has been a raging success ever since it was first released in 1988. Microsoft has become almost synonymous with business in the tech world, and it’s easy to see why – options like Office work great.

Microsoft Office, however, is not the only office suite of apps out there, with a number of different options in a range of prices also existing. Here’s some of the best of those options.

Open Office

openoffice

Credit: Apache

Open Office, made by Apache, is perhaps one of the better known Microsoft Office alternatives, and for good reason – it’s free. Not only that, but the Open Office apps are also open source, which is why the suite is called Open Office. Being open source means that an entire community

The software isn’t as advanced as options from the likes of Microsoft, and if collaboration is your thing then you might want to look a little further down the list, but as free software, Open Office will allow you to create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in a pinch.

Open Office users can import and export Microsoft Office documents, which could be an important feature for those that work with others.

Open Office is compatible with Windows, OS X and Linux, and can be downloaded here.

Google Docs

switch-docs-docs

Credit: Google

Ah the great Google Docs. Google docs, slides and sheets has fast become a favorite for a number of reasons. The platform is entirely cloud-based, meaning that documents are stored in the cloud and the apps themselves are web-based. Of course, this poses a problem for those with spotty Internet connections, but in a home or office with Wi-Fi that shouldn’t be an issue.

Another score for Google is the fact that Google Docs’ collaboration tools are second to none. Users can share documents quickly and easily, and multiple people can access and edit a document at once. Not only that, but Google Docs also has a correction system, which is great for those that work with editors and proof-readers.

Users of Google Docs and import and export Microsoft Office documents.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice_Writer_5.0

Credit: Srdjan m

LibreOffice is similar to Open Office, and both were actually made from the same initiative. LibreOffice parted ways with Apache back in 2010, and allows users to create and edit documents compatible with Microsoft apps like Publisher. It offers a number of more advanced features than OpenOffice, such as a built-in Wikipedia editor.

It’s important to note that over the years a lot more work has been put into LibreOffice, with recent developments including a redesigned toolbar and bright visual aspectsof the software. It’s also quite a bit less buggy. For the more advances user, choosing LibreOffice over OpenOffice might be the best option, but for simplicity’s sake Open Office is still a great option.

You can head here to download LibreOffice.

iWork

Credit: Apple

Credit: Apple

This one really only applies to Apply users, but is a contender nonetheless. In classic Apple fashion, iWork, which includes Pages, Numbers and KeyNote, is beautifully designed and is very simplistic. It offers users a great way to create and edit documents, and also has some pretty nice collaboration tools through iCloud.

While iWork isn’t free, it is very cheap, coming in at $20 for each app on Mac and $10 for each on iOS. You can download Pages, Numbers, and Keynote from the Apple App Store.

WPS Office

wps

Once upon a time Kingsoft Office looked more like a Chinese knockoff of Microsoft Office, however after a rebranding and renaming to WPS Office, the software can stand as its own contender. It does still run like a stripped down version of Microsoft Office, however for many the simplicity of it is a good thing. Not only that, but it also runs smoothly and quickly, doesn’t seem to be very buggy, and is compatible with Microsoft Office documents. Really, WPS is a great option for those that don’t need to do anything too intense but need a word processor on their computer. Head here to download WPS Office.

Conclusions

Each of the programs listed have great features, but the real question is whether or not any of them are anywhere near as good as Microsoft Office. The answer is that it really depends what you need it for. Objectively, Microsoft Office is still the king, but those that really only need something to bang out a few documents will have no troubles with any of these alternatives. Google Docs is great for its collaboration tools and iWork is great for its simplicity, but there doesn’t seem to be anything that is as quite good as Microsoft Office just yet.

SoftwarePriceUser-FriendlinessMicrosoft CompatibilityPlatform Compatibility
Open OfficeFree8/10YesWindows, OS X, Linux
Google DocsFree9/10YesWindows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone
LibreOfficeFree7/10YesWindows, OS X, Linux, Android
iWork$60 for Mac, $30 for iOS9/10YesOS X, iOS
WPS OfficeFree8/10YesWindows, Linux, Android, iOS

 

Which of these Microsoft Office alternatives have you tried, or would you consider trying?  Please let us know in the comments below or by starting a new discussion in our community forum.