We all love Microsoft software. Even the Mac users among us love using Microsoft Word so much that we want it on everything from our iMacs to our iPads. Many people buy PCs pre-loaded with the software because they know they’ll be using it. People around the world love the functionality of Word, PowerPoint, Excel…the list goes on.
Of course, not all of us can love Microsoft software – there are bound to be a few people with quarrels over pricing, functionality, and other issues that are difficult for Microsoft to address. For those brave few who dare to live a Microsoft-less world, there don’t seem to be many options at first. But you just have to dig a little deeper…because there are plenty of open source alternatives to Microsoft software available. Here arefour of them.
For many people, the usage of Microsoft software starts and ends with Microsoft Office – this is why it’s so important for many people to have a feasible alternative to the handy software. Enter OpenOffice – available at OpenOffice.org – a suite that includes a word processor, a spreadsheet alternative to Excel and alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint. Really, this is one of the most important tools to have in your arsenal if you don’t want to use Microsoft software, because you’ll end up needing all of the above at some point.
There may be a few issues when using OpenOffice interchangeably with someone using Microsoft Office, but you’ll be surprised at how much you can get away with this popular open source alternative.
2. Mozilla Thunderbird
Microsoft’s software influence isn’t limited to its publication of Office. It also has a very useful email management program known as “Outlook” that many people would like to emulate, but not use directly. One suggestion is Mozilla Thunderbird, a free option from the same people who bring you Mozilla Firefox (itself a great alternative to Internet Explorer). Some suggest using add-ons to Thunderbird in order to get a full effect, and that’s fine because those add-ons are free as well. It’s a relatively glitch-free and hassle-free option for handling your email…and you’ll never have to deal with Microsoft to get it.
This notebook software is a better version of Microsoft’s OneNote in many peoples’ minds. In fact, many people who have the option of using OneNote actually prefer to use Evernote. Considering how Google Notebook has gone the way of the Dodo bird, Evernote has become the go-to option for people who want extensive note-taking software without any hassle.
4. ThinkFree Office Online
Okay, we didn’t want to only offer OpenOffice as the singular alternative to Office – so have a look at ThinkFree Office Online, a great way to use a web-based tool to replace the functionality of Microsoft’s flagship software package.
No matter which options you check out, it’s important to know that if you have a software problem, there are probably people out there who’ve experienced the same thing – and found solutions. You don’t have to use Microsoft to get work done on the computer anymore.
James Cofflin is a marketing strategist for Arcisphere Technologies, providing consulting for the IBM Rational product line, among other services. Learn more: http://softwarelifecyclepros.com