Six office alternatives
In June Microsoft will release a final version of its Office 2010 productivity suite. Naturally many users will upgrade, at substantial cost, to the latest version of the popular Office suite, but for those not so eager to hand over their money to Microsoft there are still many great alternatives. And they are free.
This has to be the number one alternative to Microsoft Office. The open source productivity tool includes all of the features offered by MS Office but for free. Version 3.0 of OpenOffice.org (OOo) was released in late 2008 and since then a number of update releases have been issued to fine tune its features.
OpenOffice.org includes full compatibility with documents created in Microsoft Office, the biggest stumbling block to switching to a new office suite. And the latest version of OOo has full compatibility with Microsoft's newer .docx format files, those created by Office 2007.
OpenOffice.org includes a presentation tool, word processor, drawing application, spreadsheet among others that can produce documents in both the OpenDocument format as well as most other popular document formats. OpenOffice.org 3.0 can't save files into the .docx format but it can open them.