Microsoft Office is the most popular office suite among computer users. But how many of you have actually bought it? The fact is Microsoft Office is costly and yet many of us prefer to pirate it rather than seek an alternative, because all free alternatives to MS Office has a new interface and requires a new learning curve. OpenOffice.Org has been available for a long time yet very few people use it compared to MS Office, because of it's unfamiliar look. The fear of having to learn something all over again is the major reason that prevents people from switching. For such users, there is one alternative - Kingsoft Office.
Kingsoft Office, an office suite developed by the Chinese software developer Kingsoft and better know as WPS Office in Chinese, has one of the closest looking interface to Microsoft Office.
At less than 50MB download, Kingsoft Office 2007 is a small and compact office suite but with plenty of features. It has three main components - Kingsoft Writer, Kingsoft Spreadsheets and Kingsoft Presentation. All the three products look similar to MS Office 2003's Word, Excel and PowerPoint respectively, and at first glance it's impossible to tell them apart. The toolbar layout, the menu items, the icons ... all resemble those of MS Office. This means that migrating MS Office users will feel immediately at home. Besides, it supports all office formats including those of OpenOffice.org so all your previous documents will work with it. Kingsoft Office 2007 has a small memory footprint enabling it to run in even older computers.
The free version of Kingsoft Office 2007 has some limitations - it cannot save files in PDF format and is ad supported. But we will tolerate some ads in return for a freeware. For some reason, this version is not yet released through their official site though it was supposed to have been made available last month. So you have to download it through another site.
The 100 days trial version of the latest version, Kingsoft Office 2009 (price USD49) is available for download. You might want to check that out too.