Microsoft Office has been around for many years and is widely considered the authority in office productivity. While we agree it is a wonderfully molded solution to most office needs, it is not the only solution.
Some may not appreciate the cost of a Microsoft product, but still need an effective way to accomplish basic tasks. Although you can get MS Office products individually we would recommend getting a suite product to be prepared for whatever comes next in your realm or to simply have more options.
OpenOffice is a free, open source product offered by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache software is widely used world wide. In fact, a good portion of the DSI infrastructure runs on Apache, including this website. The OpenOffice software package is for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on Windows, Linux, Mac and other platforms. It is also compatible with other office suite packages in that it can read and write data that can be read and written by other packages. The Apache 2.0 licensing model allows this software to be used in any context, business, personal, educational, government, etcetera.
FreeOffice by SoftMaker is another free alternative for Windows and Linux platforms. The package includes a word processor, a spreadsheet application and a presentation-graphics solution. This package can read data from other suites and even generate PDF's from your work. Though the free version is available by registering with the company, they do offer a paid commercial version of the software that claims more features.
LibreOffice presented by 'The Document Foundation' is actually a spinoff of OpenOffice created by former leading members and contributors of the OpenOffice project. It is a free and open source office productivity solution that has been developed and continually refined. This package goes beyond the traditional word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, database, graphics, and math processing offerings and offers extensions that further increase it's capability. These added features as extensions increase your potential and make it easier for you to "do more". They even have a portable version that you can put on a flash drive and tote around with you for functionality on the go. LibreOffice is available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and others.
WPS for Windows, Linux, IOS, and Android is brought to you by Kingsoft. It is a free office package that covers the basics well. WPS also lends to portability with IOS and Android apps. Included in this suite is word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation. Along with the basics you can create multi-page ebooks, convert PDF files, add watermarks, and manage tabs. There is also cloud storage and syncing available for the ultimate in portability. Kingsoft is a 'for profit' company and as such WPS is also available as a paid version with added features.
These are some great alternatives to a Microsoft presented solution, but I'm not convinced we will see Microsoft's leading role abolished. Though it comes at a cost, Microsoft Office does come with years of refinement and integration that hooks into other MS products well, which in the end, is very desirable to a budding business.