You may be musing the beginning of Microsoft® Office products (Word, Excel®, Outlook®, and i don't know PowerPoint®) or superficial to rise to a more than recent liberation of the Office piece. Although the Microsoft Office opus is exceptional enterprise fecundity software, it's not threepenny (you'll pay anyplace from 150 to 700 dollars per instance, unless you're effort some quantity discounts done a reseller). There are alternatives for you to consider, and those alternatives have some pro's and con's.

First, let's fix your eyes on at the alternatives (grouped by the various components within the Office composition):

1. Word- There is an all but endless figure of alternate remark processors out there, such as as:

  • OpenOffice.org Writer (the whole OpenOffice.org suite, which is subdivision of Sun® Microsystem's ascii text file plan of action is gettable at openoffice.org)
  • WordPerfect® (the whole WordPerfect Office X3 suite, which is closely-held by Corel®, is accessible at wordperfect.com)
  • Lotus Word Pro (which is module of IBM®'s Lotus SmartSuite, procurable at water lily.com)
  • Adobe ® FrameMaker®(available from adobe.com)
  • StarOffice Writer (the complete StarOffice suite, which is fragment of Sun® Microsystem's branded software package catalog, is on hand at staroffice.com)

2. Excel- There is also a brobdingnagian possible of programme software package options out there, specified as:
  • OpenOffice.org Calc
  • Quattro Pro® (part of the WordPerfect Office X3 piece)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 (part of Lotus SmartSuite)
  • StarOffice Calc

3. PowerPoint- There's not fairly as markedly straight match in this space, but in that are counterparts in all the suites antecedently mentioned, as careful below:
  • OpenOffice.org Impress
  • Presentations(TM) (part of the WordPerfect Office X3 composition)
  • Freelance Graphics (part of Lotus SmartSuite)
  • Adobe Presenter, at one time Macromedia Breeze Presenter (available from adobe.com)
  • StarOffice Impress

4. Outlook- Excluding the web-based email employment (such as Google(TM) gmail or Yahoo!® Mail), in that are some honest alternatives, such as as:
  • Mozilla Thunderbird(TM) (available at mozilla.com)
  • Lotus Notes (available at lotus.com)
  • Eudora, which will probable crease into or reaper beside Mozilla's Thunderbird in the not-too-distant future (available at eudora.com)

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Next, let's form at both of the pro's and con's of respectively of the starring vendors' offerings:

1. Microsoft Office-

  • Pro's: It's the "Big Daddy" of the bunch, no ambiguity. It has the peak users, the large start budget, files you bring forth next to it are much universal, and it's got "hooks galore" into Microsoft's Windows operating set of connections.
  • Con's: It's the "Big Brother" of the clump. It's toward the difficult end in cost, all material possession considered, and it's not intensely dainty regarding group requirements (but that's not a immense consideration if you've upgraded your PCs anytime in the finishing 2-3 time of life).

2. Sun Microsystems' OpenOffice.org-
  • Pro's: It's free beside whatever "strings" connected (mostly an understanding that you'll contribute in some way in the overall ascii text file beginning practice). It's likewise thoroughly congenial near Microsoft Office formats.
  • Con's: Because it's open-source, "support" is a relative term (but the Help functions are amazingly competent so that it's not a colossal concern). You likewise have to be well thought-out to liberate into Microsoft Office formats if you're readying on transporting these documents anyplace (not problematical to do, but you have to retrieve to do it).

3. Corel's WordPerfect Office X3-
  • Pro's: These guys have been in the region of for a drawn out circumstance (remember when Word and WordPerfect were the 2 big players in the idiom process space?).
  • Con's: The goods is solid, but here aren't any major side differentiators (WordPerfect is not all that distinct from Word, Quattro Pro is suchlike a less-talented old sib of Excel's, etc.). For all of Corel's last intensity in the county of upper side publishing, it hasn't seemed to transfer of training into the 21st period (at lowest not near this composition)

4. IBM's Lotus SmartSuite-
  • Pro's: IBM is, obviously, other long-time actor in the extraterrestrial (Lotus 1-2-3 is pretty substantially the "grand-daddy" of spreadsheets), near loads of property to heave in the region of. Support is well-mannered if you can get to the perfectly subway.
  • Con's: Similar to Corel, there's merely not any persuasive differentiators present (unless the complete Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino building makes awareness to you, in which case, enchant let me know, so I can ask beside you). The product offerings are good, but they're all but too involved.

5. Sun Microsystems' StarOffice-
  • Pro's: Just approaching beside OpenOffice.org, compatibility near Microsoft Office is a positive.
  • Con's: Support is a lilliputian a cut above than for its OpenOffice.org counterparts, and the same off-putting exists for written document movableness as down preceding.

6. Mozilla's Thunderbird-
  • Pro's: This commodity is speedily getting to be extraordinarily square-shouldered. It's not yet to the usability level of Outlook, and it has common fraction of Lotus Notes' profundity and scalability, but for a free product, it's beautiful awesome!
  • Con's: Similar to the observations more or less Sun Microsystems' OpenOffice.org offerings, the ascii text file quality of this commodity can move out a petite to be sought after in the field of support, but furthermost of the regular functions are relatively half-baked.

7. Eudora-
  • Pro's: Another "grand-daddy", this incident in the email shopper extraterrestrial. Very steady and certain utility
  • Con's: Time will detail what happens to this stalwart, but it appears to be in worthy hands (Mozilla)

The "bottom line" is that you do have quite a few true choices near your commercial success software, and you can "mix and match" (many of these solutions can be ruined out... for example, Word can be purchased unpackaged from the Microsoft Office suite or Lotus 1-2-3 can be purchased unpackaged from Lotus SmartSuite). Take one occurrence to canvass your options in the past gap your wallet.

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