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Microsoft Office 365 is Great, But There are Alternative Suites
Are you looking for an alternative to office 365? When you think of office suites, most likely two platforms come to mind: Office 365 and Google Workspaces. Both offerings offer outstanding features, stability, a user-friendly interface, and (at least with Google) free tools for users.
For most users, Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) remains the original and best office suite, and it takes matters further with an online version that offers cloud backups and mobile use as required. Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook, still remain key office apps.
But those aren’t the only options; in fact, a number of office suites are ready to serve you well. Some of these tools are cloud-based and some are installed locally, but all of them can get the job done. And you might be surprised to find out that most of them can stand toe-to-toe with the de facto standards.
Alternative Office Suites
LibreOffice is so good, you’ll wonder why you have ever paid for office software. It’s compatible with all Microsoft document formats and has almost every feature you’ll find in the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The suite contains six programs to cover every common office task: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and Base.
WPS Office Free is a slimmed-down version of a premium office suite, but you’d hardly know it. There are versions of WPS Office Free for Windows and Linux systems, as well as apps for Android devices, but Apple device users will need to look elsewhere.
Zoho has a new-look word processor that is very well-presented and capable of producing professional-looking docs, and it has a sterling spreadsheet and reasonable presentation package alongside it.
They’re just the tip of the iceberg, however – Zoho Workplace includes a powerful site creation tool, a file management solution, and many collaborative tools. Some are on the simplistic side, so they’ll likely not replace anything you might already have in place, but if you’re starting out as a small business Zoho is probably a good jumping-off point.
Next Cloud is my on-premise cloud platform of choice. Not only is it open source, but it’s also incredibly flexible, reliable, and secure. Next Cloud also includes integration with a full-blown office suite that can efficiently serve your needs. You’ll find tools for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, file management and sharing, video and audio chat, and more.
Microsoft’s desktop software carries a subscription fee, but the company has noticed the threat posed by Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and created its own set of free online apps as an alternative suite.
Microsoft 365 online works just like its desktop equivalent version with just a few features missing from it. If you generally use Microsoft document formats, Office Online is a brilliant choice. Unlike Google’s free office suite, it doesn’t need to convert your files before you can work on them, and you can share them easily through your Microsoft OneDrive account. Just log in using your Microsoft account (the same one you use to log into Windows 10) and you’re ready to go.