You may be musing the inauguration of Microsoft® Office products (Word, Excel®, Outlook®, and perchance PowerPoint®) or sounding to incline to a much new secretion of the Office musical composition. Although the Microsoft Office suite is beyond compare business organization fruitfulness software, it's not cut-rate (you'll pay everywhere from 150 to 700 dollars per instance, unless you're exploit a number of paperback discounts through with a reseller). There are alternatives for you to consider, and those alternatives have both pro's and con's.

First, let's stare at the alternatives (grouped by the not public components inside the Office opus):

1. Word- There is an nigh inestimable cipher of alternative phrase processors out there, such as:

  • Writer (the total suite, which is member of Sun® Microsystem's ascii text file strategy is in stock at
  • WordPerfect® (the full WordPerfect Office X3 suite, which is owned by Corel®, is obtainable at
  • Lotus Word Pro (which is division of IBM®'s Lotus SmartSuite, reachable at nelumbo
  • Adobe ® FrameMaker®(available from
  • StarOffice Writer (the total StarOffice suite, which is division of Sun® Microsystem's copyrighted software system catalog, is ready at

2. Excel- There is besides a monumental possible of computer programme software package options out there, such as:
  • Calc
  • Quattro Pro® (part of the WordPerfect Office X3 piece)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 (part of Lotus SmartSuite)
  • StarOffice Calc

3. PowerPoint- There's not reasonably as such shortest competition in this space, but location are counterparts in all the suites in earlier times mentioned, as careful below:
  • Impress
  • Presentations(TM) (part of the WordPerfect Office X3 musical composition)
  • Freelance Graphics (part of Lotus SmartSuite)
  • Adobe Presenter, formerly Macromedia Breeze Presenter (available from
  • StarOffice Impress

4. Outlook- Excluding the web-based email work (such as Google(TM) gmail or Yahoo!® Mail), in attendance are many favourable alternatives, specified as:
  • Mozilla Thunderbird(TM) (available at
  • Lotus Notes (available at sacred
  • Eudora, which will apt angularity into or combine with Mozilla's Thunderbird in the not-too-distant approaching (available at

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Next, let's gawk at any of the pro's and con's of each of the principal vendors' offerings:

1. Microsoft Office-

  • Pro's: It's the "Big Daddy" of the bunch, no question. It has the furthermost users, the large start budget, files you make near it are much universal, and it's got "hooks galore" into Microsoft's Windows operational regulations.
  • Con's: It's the "Big Brother" of the agglomeration. It's toward the higher end in cost, all property considered, and it's not drastically tiny in relation to set of laws requirements (but that's not a considerable consideration if you've upgraded your PCs anytime within the end 2-3 geezerhood).

2. Sun Microsystems'
  • Pro's: It's free next to some "strings" attached (mostly an agreement that you'll play a part by some means in the general ascii text file encouragement process). It's likewise thoroughly congruous next to Microsoft Office formats.
  • Con's: Because it's open-source, "support" is a comparative occupancy (but the Help functions are astonishingly proficient so that it's not a measureless involvement). You also have to be particular to salvage into Microsoft Office formats if you're preparation on transporting these documents anyplace (not thorny to do, but you have to bring to mind to do it).

3. Corel's WordPerfect Office X3-
  • Pro's: These guys have been in a circle for a overnight time (remember when Word and WordPerfect were the 2 big players in the remark processing space?).
  • Con's: The goods is solid, but near aren't any highest dimension differentiators (WordPerfect is not all that contrasting from Word, Quattro Pro is suchlike a less-talented elder relative of Excel's, etc.). For all of Corel's ultimo luminosity in the band of upper side publishing, it hasn't seemed to transfer into the 21st century (at slightest not with this piece)

4. IBM's Lotus SmartSuite-
  • Pro's: IBM is, obviously, different long-time musician in the extent (Lotus 1-2-3 is pretty substantially the "grand-daddy" of spreadsheets), near loads of means to let fly about. Support is superb if you can get to the suitable conduit.
  • Con's: Similar to Corel, there's fitting not any robust differentiators present (unless the integral Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino edifice makes experience to you, in which case, suit let me know, so I can inquire next to you). The merchandise offerings are good, but they're nearly too convoluted.

5. Sun Microsystems' StarOffice-
  • Pro's: Just like near, rapport next to Microsoft Office is a nonnegative.
  • Con's: Support is a pocket-size enhanced than for its counterparts, and the aforesaid alarm exists for piece of writing movability as nominated preceding.

6. Mozilla's Thunderbird-
  • Pro's: This merchandise is at a rate of knots feat to be unbelievably rugged. It's not yet to the usability plane of Outlook, and it has simple fraction of Lotus Notes' superiority and scalability, but for a free product, it's beautiful awesome!
  • Con's: Similar to the observations almost Sun Microsystems' offerings, the ascii text file quality of this wares can walk out a irrelevant to be desired in the province of support, but supreme of the ordinary functions are relatively primeval.

7. Eudora-
  • Pro's: Another "grand-daddy", this example in the email buyer area. Very firm and straight utility
  • Con's: Time will convey what happens to this stalwart, but it appears to be in honourable safekeeping (Mozilla)

The "bottom line" is that you do have several true choices with your conglomerate fecundity software, and you can "mix and match" (many of these solutions can be finished out... for example, Word can be purchased unpackaged from the Microsoft Office piece or Lotus 1-2-3 can be purchased unpackaged from Lotus SmartSuite). Take whatever circumstance to delve into your options before opening your case.

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