The price of Microsoft office can seem very steep, especially if you’re don’t qualify for its cut down Student version. Yet there are numerous other office applications out there and investigating an alternative like SoftMaker Office 2012 could save you some money.
SoftMaker Office 2012 is the latest version of the office suite from SoftMaker Software. It comes in two versions; Standard and Professional. The Standard version includes word processor, spreadsheet and presentation programs. The Professional suite includes all the standard has to offer plus a personal information client that handles email, calendar and task lists. The beta software’s available as a free time limited trial until the end of October, after which you can buy it from the online store.
The look and feel of some of the components is very similar to LibreOffice and OpenOffice, which rather invites comparisons. While there’s a limit to what can realistically be achieved with office applications, it’s unfortunate that it immediately brings free software to mind. It’s hard to argue against saving money by getting an alternative to Microsoft Office, especially when the file types are compatible, but when you can save a whole lot more by going for a totally free option, the argument seems a little lacking.
The software does what it’s meant to. TextMaker is a more than adequate word processor that includes some text effects not available in its free competitors. PlanMaker offers everything you might want from a spreadsheet program and Presentations is a good PowerPoint substitute. There’s just not enough difference to make these stand out from the free alternatives available in LibreOffice or OpenOffice.