Also, everyone knows MS Office costs an arm and a leg, simply because it’s used in “the office”, hence it should cost more since businesses can afford it.
Trouble is, MS Office has become so pervasive that everyone is “forced” to use it, even outside of the office. Government forms downloaded off the Internet for you to fill in, for example, would be in MS Word format. You, as a student or a retiree, would need some sort of MS Office-compatible software to read and edit those files. Now, not everybody can afford the huge price tag that MS Office commands, especially for a home-user. Just look at the prices (in US$ no less!) in the picture below:
Even in Singapore dollars, these figures are not small. Some of us really cannot, or prefer not to, spend these sums of money just for software. Fortunately, the Internet is full of free alternatives. Free, and legal. Most popular would be OpenOffice.
However, none of these free alternatives are 100% compatible. There would be bits and pieces of features that cannot be replicated completely in the free versions.
Recently though, I discovered a free alternative that is, by far, the “most compatible” to MS Office, and that is the Kingsoft Office suite. How do I know this?
Because recently, I have had to fill in some forms that have been sent to me, and they were in MS Word format. Using OpenOffice, LibreOffice and some other “free alternative” office suites, I was unable to fill in the documents. Some parts of the document used dropdown boxes and restricted-text entry fields, and none of the free alternatives were able to use the fields. I looked around for a free alternative and couldn’t seem to find any, and I was about to give up and look for a friend who owns MS Office to try to fill in the form at his PC.
Luckily I happened to stumble upon Kingsoft Office via reviews I found on the Internet, and was amazed that the entire suite was just a 36MB download. Yes, 36 megabytes! Not 300MB, not 500MB, not 1GB… just a tiny fraction at only 36MB!
And, it edited that document I was having trouble with effortlessly. The dropdown boxes worked, the field selections worked… the text entry fields worked.
I’m throwing out OpenOffice and LibreOffice now, and sticking to Kingsoft Office…