Five free alternative office suites

Microsoft is set to unveil its own free Office suite as the competition catches up.

Zoho features many other online tools. Aside from presentation and spreadsheet tools, it includes email, document management, chat, and a sharing repository. It also offers more business-friendly applications, including CRM, invoicing, reporting and more although these are only free for a limited number of users.

Those extra business tools make Zoho a solid choice for small businesses looking to make use of business intelligence and other systems without forking out a lot of cash. Even if you prefer to use an OS-based office suite for your documents and files, the free software on offer by Zoho is worth a look.

IBM Lotus Symphony

It also features spreadsheet and presentation applications, but unlike others they're all in the same place. Click 'new' to open a spreadsheet and it stays in the same window in a separate tab, which should come in handy when you're moving between different document types.

It also has a built-in web browser, which seems a bit strange when you're used to working with a separate one.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

As far as user interface goes, it's a bit old school, lacking any slick UI treatment. It also does weird things to the text when you're typing, auto-suggesting words and underlining spelling mistakes before you even finish typing the word. It also renders text strange, making it seem bold as you type, before settling down to how it should be.

IBM has publicly dropped Microsoft Office in favour of Lotus Symphony, but it's hard to see others doing the same with the small troubles Symphony still has especially with around.

On the flipside, it's still in version 1.3, so hopefully the next release is a bit better to work with.

Featured Resources

Transform the operator experience with enhanced automation & analytics

Bring networking into the digital era

Download now

Artificially intelligent data centres

How the C-Suite is embracing continuous change to drive value

Download now

Deliver secure automated multicloud for containers with Red Hat and Juniper

Learn how to get started with the multicloud enabler from Red Hat and Juniper

Download now

Get the best out of your workforce

7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automation

Download now

Most Popular


Patch issued for critical Windows bug

11 Dec 2019
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019

Buy IT to grow, not slow, your business

25 Nov 2019
Microsoft Windows

This exploit could give users free Windows 7 updates beyond 2020

9 Dec 2019