3 posts • joined 19 Apr 2013
Best alternative: SoftMaker Office
In my opinion, the main reasons why users still buy - or rent - an expensive Microsoft Office are:
1) Word (doc, docx), Excel (xls, xlsx), and PowerPoint (ppt, pptx) represent the global standard office formats, and users are afraid, they can't handle these formats perfectly with an alternative office suite If there was an alternative office suite with 100% interoperability, many users would switch to this.
2) Idleness. Since MSO was / is the standard office suite which most users privately and / or professionally used to work with, they prefer sticking to the "original" insted of dealing with a completely different structure, interface, and other functionalities.
I played around with severl alternative office suites, but neither LibreOffice, nor Google Docs, Kingsoft, Calligra, nor OpenOffice etc. can completely convince (former) MSO users in these two points.
Ultimately, I encountered SoftMaker Office, an office suite from a small German developer, and everyone who wants to switch from MSO to an alternative, but however, has not done it yet because of the two points above, should definitely try it out:
1) The compatibility is not perfect (that's not possible) but close to that, I have thousands of MSO documents, sheets, and a few presentations, plus I used Outlook - all of my files can be used seamlessly in both directions without formatting loss, and I like eM Client 5 Professional, which is included in SoftMaker Office Pro, much more than Outlook.
2) Interface is similar / familiar to that of MS Office 2003 (no ribbons), with several modern extensions such as tabs for multiple pages, navigation bar etc., so there's not too much of a learning curve.
Coding is tight, and program is small and runs fast. Price is reasonable at ~$99 for three licenses, upgrades from earlier versions ~$40, A free 30 day trial download is available. Have a look. Andy say goodbye to Microsoft Office.
I can't resist to use my Commodore 64 with my old tv from time to time to play some Space Taxi, Summer Games and such.
@shell_user, I totally agree with you. Plus, Microsofts license and price policy gets more and more greedy. I played around with several alternatice office suites, but most of them (LibreOffice, OpenOffice, Kingsoft,..) had interoperability problems with Microsoft Office formats. I need to handle my thousands of Word-, Excel, and PowerPoint files perfectly. But SoftMaker Office Professional is a great alternative, I use it since one month and I will continue. Bye bye Microsoft. It comes with word processor TextMaker (including Berlitz dictionaries), spreadsheet PlanMaker, presentation software Presentations, plus eM Client 5 Professional. Excel is better than PlanMaker, but I miss no single feature of Word or PowerPoint, it has them all. Support by phone is free of charge.
I still need to use a MS Office on a Windows machine at work, but I use SoftMaker Office Professional at home, and I don't have any problem going back and forth. Interface is similar/familiar to that of MS Office 2003 (no ribbons), so there's not too much of a learning curve. Coding is tight, and program is small and runs fast. Price is reasonable at ~$99 for three licenses, upgrades from earlier versions ~$40, educational discount ~$25. They also run frequent/sales and promotions. A free 30 day trial download of 2012 is available. Have a look.
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