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The enterprise and Microsoft Office: Till death do us part?

When you think of productivity suites, Microsoft Office most likely springs to mind. The applications in Office are some of the most ubiquitous in the enterprise, and for good reason. Office has tons of features and applications, and it’s relatively easy to use. This guide was even written and edited in Word.

But Office isn’t the only suite of productivity applications out there, and it’s not the right option for every company. Some businesses might want a more cloud-focused approach, in which case Office 365 or Google Apps might be the way to go. Companies looking for free access to word processing, spreadsheet and other applications can look to open-source alternatives such as OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Apple has its own suite for Mac users. And there are plenty of mobile productivity applications, some of which are free — even those from Microsoft, although they’re very limited without an Office 365 subscription.

It’s worth it to look at both desktop and mobile alternatives to Office, because the options are so competitive these days. Consider features, support, user needs and, of course, pricing. For many companies, Office could still be the best option. Volume licensing can help with cost concerns, and the continued updates and support Microsoft provides are a draw for businesses. Additionally, it’s important to think about the learning curve, help desk tickets and user frustration that can come from moving users to a completely new and potentially very different interface.

Still, taking another look at the productivity suite market can’t hurt. Begin with our new three-part guide, Alternative Productivity Suites Can Rock as Hard as Office.