I recently bought a new PC for a colleague. It came, as they normally do, with a trial version of Microsoft Office and a commercial antivirus program. As I always do, I started off by removing the antivirus and security suite and letting Windows Defender take over. While Defender may not be the best security product in the world, it's perfectly good enough for most people. And it's both small and free, which count for a lot with me.
Next, to the office software. We need a word processor, spreadsheet and graphics program. Not just for creating new files, but also so that we can open documents created by other people. So it needs to be relatively capable, and compatible with the standard Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint formats.
But Microsoft Office costs at least $200 a copy, after the trial version expires. Or you can subscribe to Office 365 for around $10 a month, to get the installable applications as well as lots of OneDrive space. But frankly, I like Dropbox better than OneDrive, and the Office applications are enormous. The installer disk for MS Office 2016 contains more than 3,000 MB of files.
After a bit of research I settled on WPS Office for this new machine. It's small (the installer is 80 MB). It's fast. It looks very much like MS Office and comes with hundreds of document templates. It reads Word, Excel and PowerPoint files just fine. And it's completely free.
Actually, for "completely free" read "sponsored access". This is the WPS (formerly known as Kingsoft) way of saying that it's supported by advertising. Which means that you'll sometimes need to view a quick ad before you can print a document. But in return, you get unrestricted use of a software product that would otherwise cost you at least $100 a year.
It's your choice. Or in this instance it was my choice. And for now, we're sticking with WPS Office on this new machine because it seems very nice indeed. If you want to try it for yourself, head to http://wps.com/ to download it. The aforementioned 80 MB installer is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.
Please rate this article: