According to Softwatch, organisations are wasting money by licensing Microsoft Office that users rarely use. Only 48 minutes per day is time average user is using Office, most used application is Outlook email client, which accounts for about 68 percent of that activity. Second place goes to Excel with 17 percent of user activity, or an average of 8 minutes per day. Word and PowerPoint are far behind with only 5 minutes and 2 minutes per day each.
I conducted similar test in our organisation. Our team discovered similar findings. We have identified 4 types of users:
Readers: The most used application is Outlook for reading email. Some attachments are opened which are created with MS Word or MS Excel.
Editors: The most used application is Outlook for reading email. Editors open attachments which are created with MS Word or MS Excel. They also have to edit Excel files that are stored on a shared drive on a file server. They mostly add simple data to the columns. Sometimes they fill out template created in MS Word.
ERP Editors: ERP Editors use Outlook for reading email. They also use some reporting in ERP. They export reports to MS Excel and use simple calculations like +, -, /. SUM.
Advanced users: Advanced users use Outlook for reading email. They use ERP reporting extensively. They tend to use advanced functions in Excel but not all. They also create templates in MS Word and MS Excel. Those templates are used by Editors and ERP Editors to fill daily data.
In our case, only 10% users are considered Advanced users that really requires more than 8% of Office functionality. If you consider that MS Office Standard costs $360 – $400 and users use only 10% of functionality you know you have a problem. You are paying for something your company doesn’t need and you are paying a lot. Is there alternative to Microsoft Office that is considered Best MS Office alternative? Read on for Kingosoft Office review.
Best MS Office alternative
We have tried and were able to save money with OpenOffice / LibreOffice to some extent. Problem with Openoffice and LibreOffice is it’s codebase which is a mess. Partly written in Java, partly in other languages is hard to maintain. LibreOffice is doing great work with cleaning up the unused code and porting Java code to other languages but it still has the same problems it had from the OpenOffice 1 and 2 days. Programs can stop responding after a while. When you look in task manager you see many soffice.bin entries, sometimes even more than 30. You can close them one by one and maybe, if you are lucky, you close the right one. Programs would start responding again. Another problem with LibreOffice is usability, icons are Tango, from old Gnome days (Linux) missing Windows look and feel. Some operations that should be simple are hidden and you have to spend some time looking for them.
I recently found Kingsoft Office 2013. I liked the look and decided to install it on my computer. Kingosft Office has three components – Writer, Spreadsheets and Presentation. Look and Feel is in line with the latest Microsoft guidelines and Icons look natural and are easy to understand.
Kingsoft Writer MS Word alternative
Writer has a great look and feel, almost identical to latest MS Office. Unlike MS Office it has tabs just like Chrome or Firefox browser. Icons are in the right place and options that you are used to are easy to find. I opened some documents I had and all opened flawlessly. I even tried with mail merge file and Writer opened it and I could edit data.
Kingsoft Spreadsheets MS Excel alternative
Just like Writer, Kingsoft Spreadsheets has the same look and feel like MS Excel, with functions in just the right place. I have tested several files and all opened flawlessly.
Kingsoft Presentation alternative to MS Powerpoint
I admit, I don’t use Power Point a lot. Maybe 2-3 times per year when I have to create presentation for management. It’s easy to do presentations, it has nice templates and it’s very similar to MS Offering.
Users can easily change the look of application. You can apply Office 2003 style or Modern 2007/2010 style. This can be handy if you are migrating from Office 2003.
I was very excited by the features and look, so I decided to deploy Kingsoft Office to 30 users. In the past we had a LibreOffice migration trial. Even though users didn’t like the look of it, they were unable to use it properly as it would often stop responding. The same users who did a trial of LibreOffice liked Kingsoft Office. They like the look and all that was not working with LibreOffice works with WPS Office. They didn’t have problems with non-responding programs, they don’t have to restart computer 3 times per day and document compatibility is top notch. At least for those simple documents they use. I don’t know how Kingsoft Office would open complex documents with footnotes and table of content. I know that in our environment WPS Office can replace 90% MS Office installations without a problem.
You won’t find MS Access alternative, MS Publisher alternative or MS Outlook alternative. I found one thread on their forums that new version is coming in July and will include Email client. That would be great. If you need MS Outlook replacement and would like migrate off MS Office completely, there are Email clients that can replace MS Outlook .
Kingsoft office is available for Windows and Linux, unfortunately, there is no version available for OSX.
The best part is price, Kingsoft Office is free for personal use. Price for a Professional version which has VBA macro support and is licensed for corporate use is $79 – please note that this is a lifetime License. Just like eMClient (the best Outlook alternative), WPS Office offers a lifetime license, meaning that your licensing cost will reduce over time.
If you are looking for Alternative to Microsoft Office, try Kingsoft Office free of charge. You may save your company some cost. What about support? There is a forum, phone and email support. Are you able to send email to Microsoft asking about a problem you have in Word? I guess not. What about phone support? You have that option with Kingsoft office.