Do I really need a Microsoft Office subscription?

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  • I have been using various versions of Microsoft Office since 1997. My first Windows 95 PC came bundled with diverse software which included Word Perfect. Word Perfect was good and I would have been satisfied with using it, but the company I worked for at the time was using Microsoft Office and the daily exposure to it made me a fan. Since then I have owned six physical copies of the suite: Office 95, 97, 2000, XP, 2003, and 2007.

    Microsoft's current desktop software requires a subscription fee, but the company has noticed the threat posed by Google's G Suite and created its own free online office suite. Microsoft Office Online looks and works just like its desktop equivalent, and although some advanced features are out of reach, it is still a great alternative. From the suite I subscribe to, I use OneNote and Outlook regularly and only use Word, Excel and Publisher occasionally. Because of this Office Online would be an obvious alternative.

    Over the last several months I have been testing another free office suite, LibreOffice. I am impressed with it's features and compatibility. Being compatible with Microsoft documents, having a community supported office suite, plenty of online templates to download and being free software, are compelling reasons to migrate.

    Conclusion? Microsoft Office is great software, but do I really need to spend 90 Euros a year on a subscription when there are equally great software applications out there for free? No, not really. It's time to move on. So I've decided to cancel my Office 365 subscription and instead use the free software Microsoft and the Open Source communities are offering.

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