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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Monday, Feb. 18, 2013

Free alternatives to Microsoft Office

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By Clark Howard


Microsoft Office is flexing in the market place to try to capture more small businesses and non-corporate workers. But, as usual, there's a free alternative from Google that could meet your office productivity needs!

Bill Gates & Co. are now charging an annual $100 subscription for Microsoft Office. That's actually decently priced, and you're paying a subscription for something in the past you might have bought as a software package.

But the advantage is it's now in the cloud. So you can sign into your Microsoft account from any computer in the world and access your documents. And they do give you massive amounts of storage.

But $100 a year? Why not look at Google Drive?

Google Drive is booming. It's Google's version of what amounts to a Microsoft Office suite but it's free. Google Drive allows you 5GB of storage in the cloud. Microsoft, on the other hand, allows 5 times that! But for most people, the 5GB of Google Drive will be plenty.

Meanwhile, there's another alternative and it's the one I use: Open Office. It's a free suite, but it's terminal-based on your computer, not the cloud.

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