You may be broody the commencement of Microsoft® Office products (Word, Excel®, Outlook®, and i don't know PowerPoint®) or sounding to incline to a more new merchandise of the Office opus. Although the Microsoft Office opus is unbeatable conglomerate fecundity software, it's not crude (you'll pay anyplace from 150 to 700 dollars per instance, unless you're deed numerous hardback discounts done a reseller). There are alternatives for you to consider, and those alternatives have some pro's and con's.

First, let's outward show at the alternatives (grouped by the single components in the Office opus):

1. Word- There is an well-nigh uncounted amount of alternate phrase processors out there, such as:

  • Writer (the whole suite, which is sector of Sun® Microsystem's ascii text file scheme is in stock at
  • WordPerfect® (the entire WordPerfect Office X3 suite, which is owned by Corel®, is on hand at
  • Lotus Word Pro (which is portion of IBM®'s Lotus SmartSuite, accessible at nelumbo
  • Adobe ® FrameMaker®(available from
  • StarOffice Writer (the total StarOffice suite, which is constituent of Sun® Microsystem's trademarked package catalog, is going spare at

2. Excel- There is too a bouffant possible of program software options out there, such as:
  • Calc
  • Quattro Pro® (part of the WordPerfect Office X3 opus)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 (part of Lotus SmartSuite)
  • StarOffice Calc

3. PowerPoint- There's not comparatively as much straight contest in this space, but in that are counterparts in all the suites once mentioned, as elaborated below:
  • Impress
  • Presentations(TM) (part of the WordPerfect Office X3 piece of music)
  • Freelance Graphics (part of Lotus SmartSuite)
  • Adobe Presenter, formerly Macromedia Breeze Presenter (available from
  • StarOffice Impress

4. Outlook- Excluding the web-based email employment (such as Google(TM) gmail or Yahoo!® Mail), near are whatever pious alternatives, such as as:
  • Mozilla Thunderbird(TM) (available at
  • Lotus Notes (available at indian
  • Eudora, which will apt fold into or join next to Mozilla's Thunderbird in the not-too-distant emerging (available at

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Next, let's expression at more than a few of the pro's and con's of respectively of the stellar vendors' offerings:

1. Microsoft Office-

  • Pro's: It's the "Big Daddy" of the bunch, no ambiguity. It has the peak users, the greatest advance budget, files you create beside it are practically universal, and it's got "hooks galore" into Microsoft's Windows operational scheme.
  • Con's: It's the "Big Brother" of the thicket. It's toward the better end in cost, all belongings considered, and it's not severely dainty regarding group requirements (but that's not a immense involvement if you've upgraded your PCs anytime inside the last 2-3 age).

2. Sun Microsystems'
  • Pro's: It's free near both "strings" attached (mostly an statement that you'll share one way or another in the overall ascii text file enlargement procedure). It's also perfectly compatible near Microsoft Office formats.
  • Con's: Because it's open-source, "support" is a relational residence (but the Help functions are amazingly disciplined so that it's not a measureless care). You too have to be close to let go into Microsoft Office formats if you're planning on transporting these documents anyplace (not fractious to do, but you have to recollect to do it).

3. Corel's WordPerfect Office X3-
  • Pro's: These guys have been nigh on for a extended example (remember when Word and WordPerfect were the 2 big players in the remark process space?).
  • Con's: The wares is solid, but within aren't any great property differentiators (WordPerfect is not all that opposite from Word, Quattro Pro is similar a less-talented senior relative of Excel's, etc.). For all of Corel's ancient radiance in the speciality of desktop publishing, it hasn't seemed to learning into the 21st time period (at tiniest not near this suite)

4. IBM's Lotus SmartSuite-
  • Pro's: IBM is, obviously, different long-time musician in the heavens (Lotus 1-2-3 is beautiful a great deal the "grand-daddy" of spreadsheets), next to piles of property to hurl in the region of. Support is satisfactory if you can get to the matched concentrate.
  • Con's: Similar to Corel, there's fair not any muscular differentiators here (unless the complete Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino architecture makes cognizance to you, in which case, delight let me know, so I can enquire with you). The trade goods offerings are good, but they're near too multifactorial.

5. Sun Microsystems' StarOffice-
  • Pro's: Just like-minded near, compatibility with Microsoft Office is a plus.
  • Con's: Support is a pocketable better-quality than for its counterparts, and the said requirement exists for document movableness as tabled preceding.

6. Mozilla's Thunderbird-
  • Pro's: This product is soon deed to be fundamentally husky. It's not yet to the usability plane of Outlook, and it has common fraction of Lotus Notes' complexness and scalability, but for a free product, it's beautiful awesome!
  • Con's: Similar to the observations astir Sun Microsystems' offerings, the ascii text file quality of this merchandise can give up a paltry to be desirable in the stretch of support, but furthermost of the natural functions are comparatively gut.

7. Eudora-
  • Pro's: Another "grand-daddy", this occurrence in the email case area. Very firm and respected utility
  • Con's: Time will tell what happens to this stalwart, but it appears to be in keen safekeeping (Mozilla)

The "bottom line" is that you do have whichever legal choices beside your concern abundance software, and you can "mix and match" (many of these solutions can be ended out... for example, Word can be purchased unpackaged from the Microsoft Office opus or Lotus 1-2-3 can be purchased unpackaged from Lotus SmartSuite). Take any incident to seek your options back initial your pocketbook.

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