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The best free alternative to Office is Office on the web

Office on the webLately, it seems there’s a new, free productivity application launching every week. They’re flooding the market with point solutions that have rudimentary levels of functionality and a variety of user experiences. With this comes speculation of if these free offerings can replace Office. 

We know the crowded app market is creating confusion for customers, but the reality is, the best free alternative to Office is Office–Office Web Apps. The Office Web Apps are a free version of the Office applications you already know and love with the same familiar user experience you want. And, they trump the free alternatives hands down.  Here’s why:

  1. They’re complete. 
    With Office Web Apps, you can create, edit and share Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files. Instead of addressing just one need, Office Web Apps provide a complete suite–all with a consistent user experience and functionality that works across the applications.    
  2. They work anywhere. 
    Whether you’re a PC, Mac, iOS or Android fan and whether you use a touch device or mouse and keyboard, Office Web Apps work across all devices and browsers. Office Web Apps live in the cloud, so you can get to your files and documents anywhere. Your content is always in sync and available across any device. 
  3. They’re consistent. 
    Office Web Apps look and feel like Office, so you already know how to use them. This means nothing new to learn. And, because Office always ensures your content formatting and functionality remain intact, you can share with confidence knowing that your documents will look as intended (and don’t get garbled like they do with some alternatives).
  4. They’re shareable. 
    Sharing through SkyDrive is easy, and it integrates closely with Office. So you can work with other people without version control issues or having to use an additional file storage and sharing service. 
  5. They’re rock solid … and always getting better. 
    Tens of millions of people already use Office Web Apps, so they’re proven. We are always taking feedback and continually improving the Office Web Apps for the future; in fact, if you’ve tried Office Web Apps in the past you might want to take a second look, as there have been many improvements to the product suite to make it more intuitive, touch-friendly and more seamless with your Office experience.

I should note that, because Office Web Apps are browser-based, they don’t do everything Office 2013 or Office 365 does. Some of the more powerful features require the desktop version, but the Office Web Apps are a great solution for a lot of people, and a better option than the alternative point solutions.

If you’re looking for a free alternative to Office–or are just looking for a convenient way to access your files on the go–give the Office Web Apps a try by logging in to skydrive.com and clicking Create in the top menu.  We think you’ll like what you see.

–Julia White

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3 comments
  1. Given all the bugs in Outlook 2013′s IMAP support, an alternative is definitely needed.

  2. Saddled with Office by my employer, I can honestly say that LibreOffice ( libreoffice.org ) and then OpenOffice are far superior to Office to use.

    • That’s not true, to say to students and professionals to use productivity suites that are not fully compatible with their school or institution is just erroneous. Office with SkyDrive is the best option, THE best option for any productivity suite. Learn how to use office instead of complaining about it, it’s not hard.

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