Let is face it, everyone uses office software and some of us depend on it every day. It's no wonder Microsoft has such a hefty price tag on the popular office software and to be fair it was worth every penny. However, there is a free alternative, and I want to talk about them compared to Microsoft Office.
If you ever needed to create word documents, PowerPoint presentations or spreadsheets then you will know all about Microsoft Office. The latest version of this software is Microsoft Office 2010, despite the fact that we are at the end of 2012. If you are unfamiliar with a particular office programs then you know it works brilliantly, and of course you may be reluctant to try other alternatives, but here is why you should reconsider.
Open Office is an open source office suite that is owned by Oracle. If you do not know what open source means the source code of the project is freely available for developers to use and improve. I absolutely love open source projects as it really shows what we can do as a community.
Oracle Open Office is very quickly becoming the first real alternative to Microsoft Office and when I heard about it I immediately went to the website to give it a try. I could not be happier, everything you'd expect is featured. There are some minor differences such as cropping images directly in a text editor can be annoying but it's pretty easy to work around. Currently I am using Open Office and find a joy to work with.
I only just discovered and it turns out that the LibreOffice developers working on Open Office ruled that Apache took the project in the wrong direction and migrate to a new version based on the source code for Open Office called LibreOffice. They both must be the same but it is believed LibreOffice is now the best free alternative to Microsoft Office with the promise of much more updates in the future.
Personally I have not switched from Open Office but only because not everything I need now. If you're just jumping on the bandwagon of open source then I highly recommend you choose LibreOffice.
So there You Have It
2 excellent free alternative to Microsoft Office that will directly save a penny shiny. I should also add that both the open source office suite that is mentioned here is very mild, the download is relatively small and rarely having speed issues. They also can open many different file types including Microsoft Office extension. Lastly, both PC and MAC users can benefit with support for both systems