Open Office is a great FREE alternative to Microsoft Office for those of us on a budget. OpenOffice.org has been around for a while now but I’m just coming back to their solution and I’ve found that they’ve created (possibly long ago?) a much more user friendly Mac version. Being entrenched in website design, I’ve become a huge fan of open source software solutions. There’s almost always a decent if not great solution to commercial software. Now I don’t hate Microsoft or capitalism but if there’s a good open source alternative I’ll opt for that every time.
Open Office provides alternatives for a good bit of the stuff that Microsoft Office can offer. There’s all the usual suspects: Text Documents (Word), Presentations (Powerpoint), Spreadsheets (excel), Databases, Drawing, Formula etcetera. Unfortuately there’s not an email solution bundled in with Open Office. However, There’s a lot of great open source email clients out there, like Thunderbird (which goes great with FireFox for a web browser)