If you want to get out of Microsoft hold, and looking for more economical option, there are many options available now days. Sun Microsystems, IBM, Google, Corel and many other companies are offering alternatives to Microsoft Office. The top 7 alternatives are as follows:
1. OpenOffice: OpenOffice is an office application suite available for a number of different computer operating systems. It is distributed as free software. The suite offers word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases.
It supports the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data interchange as its default file format, as well as Microsoft Office formats among others.
2. IBM Lotus Symphony: IBM Lotus Symphony is a set of applications comprising: - 1. Lotus Symphony Documents, a word processor 2. Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets, a spreadsheet program 3. Lotus Symphony Presentations, a presentation program.
It was launched in July 1984 as an integrated software application for DOS; IBM revived the Symphony name for a new office suite that was released for free in 2007. This is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
3. Corel WordPerfect Office: is a word processing application developed by Corel. With Corel WordPerfect, you can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations, manages email, and share work seamlessly with Microsoft Office compatibility and built-in PDF tools. It also supports Microsoft Office 2007, Open Document Format (ODF) and Office Open XML (OOXML).
4. Google Docs: is a web based solution developed by Google. It offers Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, and form application. The big advantage of Google Docs is that it can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time.
Google Docs has offline version which cab let you access you files even there is no Internet using Gears. Gears is an open source browser extension that enables web applications to run offline.
5. Zoho Office: Zoho Office is an online office suite produced by a division of AdventNet Inc. It includes tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, CRM, project management, invoicing and other applications. Zoho applications are web-based and operating system independent. Zoho Writer supports common formats, including Microsoft Word (DOC), Office Open XML (DOCX), OpenDocument text (ODT), OpenOffice text (SXW), HTML, RTF, JPG, GIF & PNG files. Like Google Docs, Zoho Writer works even when you are offline, and Offline document edits get synchronized when user goes online.
6. ThinkFree Office: ThinkFree Office closely resembles its functionality and features with Microsoft Office. ThinkFree Office supports Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint file formats. The most exciting thing about ThinkFree Office is that it provides identical features for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
ThinkFree Office includes a word processor (Write), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation program (Show), and a WYSIWYG html and blog editor (Note).
It also has a web-based online edition “ThinkFree Office Live” that runs Write, Calc, Show and Note in a browser using a mix of Java applet and Ajax technologies.
7. Buzzword: is a free online word processor from Adobe. With Buzzword, you can write reports, proposals and share it with others.
Note: Please advice me if I am missing any other popular Office Suite.