With the end of support for Office 2007 coming in October, many users are wondering what their alternatives are. “I am running Microsoft Office 2007 on my Dell laptop with Windows 10. I understand that support for MS Office 2007 will end in October of this year, 2017. I am not in a position to purchase Microsoft Office’s newer versions. So the question is: How vulnerable will continued use of this suite be? It there anything I can do to continue using it safely, or will it become too dangerous? What alternatives would you recommend, i.e. free suites that are available? Or, any ideas you have what so ever.”
In many cases, the end of support for a program doesn’t really matter that much as long as it’s still working. But in the case of Office, it can be a problem. Office documents are a favorite tool of hackers. When you read through the list of patches Microsoft puts out every month, you’ll see that many of them are for exploits targeting Office. If you weren’t using that PC online, I’d say go ahead and keep using Office, but make sure you don’t open up any documents in it that you aren’t absolutely sure about. However, I’ll assume you want to use your Windows 10 PC online.
Fortunately, you’ve got a lot of choices.
If you don’t mind going online when you work, you could use Microsoft’s free Office Online Service or Google Drive’s suite of office applications.
First, let’s check out your cloud-based options:
Office Online offers the ability to read, create and edit Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote documents. Just log onto Outlook.com with a Microsoft account and start working. If you have an Outlook.com, HotMail, MSN or LiveMail address, you already have an account. If not, it only takes a few minutes to create one.
Your account also comes with 5GB of cloud storage in OneDrive. Of course, the downside is that it is cloud-based. So you will need an Internet connection to work. The up side is that since it’s cloud-based, you can open it on any computer. These are fully-functional Office documents that you can save to your computer and that will open in other versions of Office.
Google Drive is free for anyone with a Gmail address and offers the ability to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and also comes with a basic drawing program.
Google Drive also offers 15 GB of free cloud storage. Like Office Online, it is cloud-based. You’ll need an Internet connection to work, but you also have the flexibility to access your documents from other computers or devices.
If you’d rather download your office suite, consider the following:
OpenOffice is an open-source software suite that handles word processing spreadsheets, graphics, databases, and presentations. You can install it on as many computers as you like and you don’t need to be tied to a particular e-mail service to download. You are also free to use it for your business or home with no restrictions. It is created and supported by volunteers. Versions of OpenOffice are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX (x86-64 only)
LibreOffice also offers the ability to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations as well as make basic graphics and charts. If is compatible with Microsoft products and is absolutely free.
You can install LibreOffice on as many computers as you wish. It is available in both a “Fresh” version with new features and a “Stable” version. You can run LibreOffice on Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
This freeware Office Suite offers a word processor, spreadsheets program, and a presentation program and supports saving files in the DOCx and XLSX formats for Windows compatibility. It is available for Windows, Android and Linux systems.