Need Some Office Software? (going cheap)

When it comes to office productivity software (word processor, spreadsheet and presentation programs) lots of people only know about Microsoft® Office - Word, Excel and PowerPoint (or perhaps the useless Microsoft® Works that came bundled with their PC).

Well, if that's you, I'm glad to be able to inform you that there is a growing number of 'office' suites, that not only provide a good alternative to Microsoft® Office but are also absolutely free!

In the last few days there has been a new release of the increasingly popular OpenOffice software (version 2.3), as well a an announcement from IBM, making the Lotus Symphony office software available for free download!

Both of these are open-source software and have a lot in common. One real plus is that they support the new international standard for document formats - ODF (Open Document Format)

Another similar option (based off the same code) is the Star Office software that is included in Google's free Google Pack download. Or for something completely different, there is the Google Docs & Spreadsheets online!

There are quite a few other options, but the above are a some of the best. So before you shell out £300-£400 for Microsoft Office, you may do well to consider the alternatives.