What’s the Best Microsoft Office Alternative?
Microsoft has been the mainstay of computer applications since it was first introduced in 1989. Despite some rough spots along the road like the much-maligned “Office Fluent User Interface” or Ribbon first introduced in Office 2007, Microsoft has been adding features and improving the products to the point where it’s hard to imagine using any other office suite. On the other hand, there are some good alternatives out there that can get you close to the official Microsoft Office suite. These alternatives range in price from free all the up to a few hundred dollars. Here’s a roundup of some of the more popular ones.
A Brief History of “Open” OfficesSun Microsystems competed with Microsoft on many levels and in 1999 Sun acquired StarOffice, an open source office application. Soon after they bought it they released the source code and renamed it OpenOffice. In 2009 Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems and changed the name of the suite to Oracle OpenOffice however, a free, open source application apparently was not a great fit for Oracle. Shortly after the Oracle acquisition, some of the OpenOffice team left to develop a new version called LibreOffice. In 2011, Oracle decided to hand over OpenOffice to the Apache Foundation whose community currently maintains it as Apache OpenOffice. Along with OpenOffice and LibreOffice there are a handful of other “open” suites that support the OpenOffice XML file format as well as the OpenDocument standard.
LibreOffice May Have Slight Edge Over Apache OpenOffice Apache OpenOffice just released version 3.4 on March 31st of this year. Although OpenOffice is a full version number behind LibreOffice, many reviewers consider this community-supported office suite one of the best alternatives to MS Office with good support for handling lots of formats from Microsoft apps as well as PDFs. On the other hand, LibreOffice team was going full speed while Oracle was trying to figure out what to do with OpenOffice which caused OpenOffice to lose some ground on their rivals. Currently many users and reviewers tend to give LibreOffice the edge, noting it supports more languages and seems to have more momentum going for it.
  Making Up For a Missing Outlook AppOften cited as the biggest missing components from the Microsoft Office alternatives like OpenOffice and LibreOffice, are an email client and calendar component. Firefox’s, Mozilla-based open source, free Thunderbird mail client and companion calendar module named Lightning are considered by many to the best products to fill that void. Users say T-Bird offers great performance and features including an RSS reader, highly regarded spam filter, excellent search tool, virtual identities, Exchange support, extensions and more.  
Kingsoft and SoftMaker Office Are Less Expensive Than Microsoft OfficeKingsoft Office is published by a Chinese software developer and offers several versions of their Office Suite that includes their own pared down version of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. There are three version for Windows (up to Windows 7) ranging from a free version to a “Professional” version for $69.95. They also offer a free Android version and say an iOS version is coming soon. Users say, compatibility with Microsoft files is good and it even offers a tabbed view for documents, something Microsoft has yet to implement. Reviewers say Kingsoft Office is “fast, compact and generally has few compatibility issues.”

SoftMaker is a German software company that makes another option for those who want to save some money on an office suite. For $79.95 you can get SoftMaker Office Home or for $99.95, you can move up to the Professional version which adds Berlitz dictionaries and an email client. Reviewers say SoftMaker Office is also fast, compact and offers good Microsoft Office compatibility. SoftMaker also offers an Andoird version for $29.99.

Google Docs and Zoho Are Browser-BasedAll you need to get up and running on Google docs is a Google ID and an Internet connection. This cloud-based Office alternative is free for up to 5GB of storage and can be very handy when you want to share documents or collaborate with a work group. Although generally considered a useful tool many users feel it could be friendlier, offer better compatibility with Microsoft Office docs, and have more professional-quality features like style-sheet support.

Zoho is another browser-based alternative to Microsoft Office. Some users consider Zoho to be more fully-featured than Google docs adding a note taker, Wiki service, planner and other features not found in Google docs. Zoho offers a free version with 1GB of storage, a “standard” version with 2GB for $3 per month and a “premium” version with 5GB for $5 per month. Zoho is also available on Android and iOS but doesn’t get very high marks for either app. On the other hand, many reviewers prefer Zoho to Google docs and Zoho is one of the few Office alternatives that offers an email service.

  Will We Ever See Office on an iPad?Microsoft has not created an Office app for Android or iOS and maybe they never will. We’re sure many iPad and Android tablets would be very interested in an app and would probably even pay for it. One analyst calculated that Microsoft could earn over $1B in revenue the first year an iOS and Android app was available. How realistic that figure is and whether Microsoft would be willing to give Apple a 30% cut is another matter. Microsoft may be determined to take Office mobile with Office Web Apps, Office 365, Office 2013, Windows RT or SkyDrive but so far Microsoft is missing from the app stores much to users’ disappointment. Google’s recent announcement of Quick Office that lets users work with MS Office files and save them in the Google cloud could make it even harder for Microsoft if they did decide to make a move into the App Store.  
WordPerfect is LegendaryFor those of you old enough to remember the early days of personal computer, the names WordPerfect, CorelDRAW, Quattro Pro and Paradox will be very recognizable. WordPerfect has packaged all these legendary applications (minus CorelDRAW) into their Office Suite which the sells for $249.99 which is more than $219.99 for Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 but much less than $399.99 for Microsoft Office Professional 2013. Aside from the fact that WordPerfect is the de facto word processor among lawyers, the rest of the suite offers the best-in-class Microsoft Office alternatives that have been around since the days of the IBM PC.
  Microsoft’s Alternative to Microsoft OfficeMicrosoft offers a free, browser-based version of Office that many reviewers say does an adequate job of providing most of the functionality for casual home or student use. With Web Apps you not only get the basics; Word, Excel and PowerPoint, you get OneNote which is recognized as an alternative to Evernote. Add a free 25GB Skydrive account and Outlook.com and you have pretty good cloud-based office suite for free.  

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How about the ability to run

How about the ability to run Windows Office so real business work can be accomplished

How much Skydrive storage?

How do you get the free 25GB storage? I previously had 25GB from being a long time Hotmail user, but shortly after that, my account was locked due to "suspicion of compromise", and all methods of recovery were useless to me. I had to start a new account and only got 7GB free.

I rdcommend SoftMaker Office

I used Microsoft Office 2003 a long time, didn't klike the ribbons of later versions, plus didn't want to support the prices & license policy of Microsoft. Later searched for good alternatives. I tested ALL of the mentioned office suites plus a few others, and the best one is SoftMaker Office by German developer SoftMaker. Yes, it's not free like e.g. LibreOffice - but you get THREE licences for $99 and it's so much better than LibreOffice / OpenOffice! Way faster, much better compatibility to Microsoft Office formats, better UI, ....... it's worth every single penny!

Btw., SoftMaker has a free office suite, too: www.freeoffice.com

Not as good as SoftMaker Office Professional (less features, no mail client) but still better than LibreOffice and OpenOffice in most parts.

Maybe you'd better check

Maybe you'd better check your facts before publishing them -- CorelDRAW is NOT part of the WordPerfect Suite, and as far as I know $249.99 is NOT more than $399.99.

Thanks for catching that

When you're right, you're right

What mistake?

The author says "WordPerfect has packaged all these legendary applications (minus CorelDRAW) into their Office Suite which the sells for $249.99 which is more than $219.99 for Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 but much less than $399.99 for Microsoft Office Professional 2013. "
My maths says that "$249.99" IS ... "much less than $399.99".

Sorry I fixed it

should have mentioned it