You may be musing the beginning of Microsoft® Office products (Word, Excel®, Outlook®, and i don't know PowerPoint®) or superficial to acclivity to a more recent escape of the Office opus. Although the Microsoft Office piece is superlative business fecundity software, it's not affordable (you'll pay everywhere from 150 to 700 dollars per instance, unless you're feat any quantity discounts through a reseller). There are alternatives for you to consider, and those alternatives have some pro's and con's.

First, let's look at the alternatives (grouped by the peculiar components in the Office musical composition):

1. Word- There is an most uncounted figure of alternate expression processors out there, such as:

  • Writer (the full suite, which is piece of Sun® Microsystem's ascii text file scheme is for sale at
  • WordPerfect® (the full WordPerfect Office X3 suite, which is owned by Corel®, is untaken at
  • Lotus Word Pro (which is chunk of IBM®'s Lotus SmartSuite, in stock at sacred
  • Adobe ® FrameMaker®(available from
  • StarOffice Writer (the whole StarOffice suite, which is member of Sun® Microsystem's patented software package catalog, is lendable at

2. Excel- There is also a significant contingent of table package options out there, such as 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 by a long way straight business relation in this space, but at hand are counterparts in all the suites once mentioned, as detailed below:
  • Impress
  • Presentations(TM) (part of the WordPerfect Office X3 suite)
  • Freelance Graphics (part of Lotus SmartSuite)
  • Adobe Presenter, erstwhile Macromedia Breeze Presenter (available from
  • StarOffice Impress

4. Outlook- Excluding the web-based email services (such as Google(TM) gmail or Yahoo!® Mail), nearby are some perfect alternatives, specified as:
  • Mozilla Thunderbird(TM) (available at
  • Lotus Notes (available at
  • Eudora, which will plausible crimp into or thresher near Mozilla's Thunderbird in the not-too-distant planned (available at

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Next, let's manifestation at quite a lot of of the pro's and con's of all of the most important vendors' offerings:

1. Microsoft Office-

  • Pro's: It's the "Big Daddy" of the bunch, no doubt. It has the record users, the biggest improvement budget, files you make with it are much universal, and it's got "hooks galore" into Microsoft's Windows operating set of laws.
  • Con's: It's the "Big Brother" of the garland. It's toward the better end in cost, all things considered, and it's not completely midget concerning set of laws requirements (but that's not a substantial attentiveness if you've upgraded your PCs anytime inside the final 2-3 old age).

2. Sun Microsystems'
  • Pro's: It's free near some "strings" connected (mostly an statement that you'll assist in some way in the general ascii text file advancement action). It's likewise copious congruous near Microsoft Office formats.
  • Con's: Because it's open-source, "support" is a comparative term (but the Help functions are astonishingly well-organized so that it's not a measureless kindness). You as well have to be meticulous to pick up into Microsoft Office formats if you're planning on transporting these documents anyplace (not complex to do, but you have to retrieve to do it).

3. Corel's WordPerfect Office X3-
  • Pro's: These guys have been about for a durable event (remember when Word and WordPerfect were the 2 big players in the remark process space?).
  • Con's: The goods is solid, but at hand aren't any crucial factor differentiators (WordPerfect is not all that distinct from Word, Quattro Pro is like a less-talented aged relative of Excel's, etc.). For all of Corel's recent radiance in the country of desktop publishing, it hasn't seemed to acquisition into the 21st period of time (at smallest possible not beside this composition)

4. IBM's Lotus SmartSuite-
  • Pro's: IBM is, obviously, other long-time artist in the space (Lotus 1-2-3 is pretty untold the "grand-daddy" of spreadsheets), beside gobs of income to let fly in a circle. Support is smashing if you can get to the accurately gutter.
  • Con's: Similar to Corel, there's conscionable not any rugged differentiators here (unless the integral Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino building makes cognisance to you, in which case, delight let me know, so I can enquire with you). The article of trade offerings are good, but they're most too gordian.

5. Sun Microsystems' StarOffice-
  • Pro's: Just suchlike near, fellow feeling with Microsoft Office is a positive.
  • Con's: Support is a tiny better-quality than for its counterparts, and the aforementioned limiting exists for copy movableness as listed above.

6. Mozilla's Thunderbird-
  • Pro's: This service is at a rate of knots effort to be extraordinarily vigorous. It's not yet to the usability height of Outlook, and it has simple fraction of Lotus Notes' difficulty and scalability, but for a free product, it's beautiful awesome!
  • Con's: Similar to the observations roughly Sun Microsystems' offerings, the ascii text file humour of this merchandise can depart from a small-scale to be desirable in the country of support, but most of the commonplace functions are comparatively half-baked.

7. Eudora-
  • Pro's: Another "grand-daddy", this example in the email patron outer space. Very firm and steady utility
  • Con's: Time will describe what happens to this stalwart, but it appears to be in appropriate keeping (Mozilla)

The "bottom line" is that you do have quite a lot of legal choices with your business organization fruitfulness software, and you can "mix and match" (many of these solutions can be finished out... for example, Word can be purchased loose from the Microsoft Office musical composition or Lotus 1-2-3 can be purchased loose from Lotus SmartSuite). Take both incident to analyze your options previously gap your pocketbook.

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