Last year, the figures showed that well over a billion people around the world used Microsoft products or services. This formidable number may be a testament to the fact that Microsoft is still a giant on the software scene, but it’s also the case that more people than ever before are trying out alternative platforms.
Sticking with the suite that came pre-loaded on our devices is eminently easy to do – but taking just a little time to think about whether an alternative could be beneficial is well worth doing. To help get you started, below, we’ve rounded up our pick of some of the very best Microsoft alternative platforms for you to consider switching to.
As the name suggests, this platform is free to download and use and will appeal to those who like the traditional Microsoft Office format, as it works and looks similar to this software. The newly launched updated interface allows users to work with either the classic or the contemporary toolbars and menu, and it’s compatible with Linux and Windows – there’s even a basic version for Android users. FreeOffice works seamlessly with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for even greater convenience and also supports PPT, XLS, and other older file types.
For those who’d like an alternative that’s easy to use, free, and integrates well with a wide range of software suites and tools you regularly use, FreeOffice is a great option to consider.
While not a full suite of programs and apps like Microsoft, Spike is worth considering as it offers many features that are a great complement to alternative software, such as FreeOffice, mentioned above. As well as offering users an innovative priority inbox and emailing that works like instant messaging, it’s also a great Microsoft Teams alternative. Spike provides voice and video conferencing, real-time chat, groups, tasks, file sharing, and much more.
If you’re looking for a smoother way to engage with your social or business group and access to a plethora of features designed to make your day-to-day life that bit easier, Spike is definitely worth a look.
Flexible, lightweight, and open source, LibreOffice is a powerful cross-platform suite that’s free to use. The suite incorporates a word processor, spreadsheet tools, and presentation features and is available in over one hundred languages.
LibreOffice can be used with Windows, macOS, and Linux (and there’s a LibreOffice viewer for those with an Android device), and it supports a wide range of formats and file types – users even have the option of converting their files to PDFs as needed.
Extra features and templates can be downloaded via an extension on the LibreOffice website, although it’s important to note that these need to be installed manually.
If you’d like to try out this alternative platform to Microsoft without committing any cash, you’re in luck! WPS Office offers a generous free tier so you can see if this software suits your needs, and if it does, you could upgrade to the paid premium plan to get access to its full range of features, tools, and benefits.
Some of these helpful features include an easy-to-use PDF converter, bulk exporter, and word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools. The premium tier will allow you to connect up to nine devices at once and rids the interface of annoying pop-up ads that cause a distraction by cluttering up the screen.
WPS Office is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Polish and offers multi-language support.
Another free and open-source option, Calligra, is a good alternative to Microsoft for those who’d like access to more advanced features, including project management and mind map tools. Those with an interest or who work in the field of art and design particularly may find this platform useful for the tools it offers in this regard.
Unlike some of the other suites on this list, Calligra does not look and behave like Microsoft, and this is worth considering if you’re looking for an alternative. You may find this a plus point or a disadvantage, depending on your personal preference. It’s also important to bear in mind that while users can read DOCX and DOX file formats, they can’t be edited via this platform.
Compatible with Microsoft formats and offering both a free and paid-for tier, Polaris Office should be considered by those who want the option of synchronizing their accounts across a variety of devices to be able to access, edit, and create documents from wherever they happen to be!
Increasingly used by businesses as an alternative to Microsoft, Polaris Office is currently deployed by companies including Samsung and Amazon. Several languages are supported by this suite, and one of its most useful features is the ability to convert voice and image files to documents.
While Microsoft may still be regarded as the ‘standard’ software suite, taking some time to look at and weigh up the potential alternatives could serve you well. Use the list above to think about whether a new platform would better meet your needs – as most options are either free or feature a free tier, why not try out a few to see what they could offer?