USB Office Showdown: Tiny USB Office vs. Portable Apps

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If you have been a computer user for a while, then you may have heard of FloppyOffice, which was – as you probably already guessed, a portable office software suite on a floppy drive!

Now in 2008, you probably can only find floppies in the dark recesses of closets, boxes and landfills – but FloppyOffice has been reincarnated as Tiny USB Office, which offers a wide variety of free, standalone portable software.

Tiny USB Office can be installed on any flash drive, even the 128MB ones, because it only takes up only 2.5MB of space on a drive, so you will still have plenty of space for your documents.

What comes in Tiny USB Office?

Tiny USB Office offers the following programs, plus some:

  • 100k Zipper (.zip reader/creator)
  • FTP Wanderer (FTP)
  • KPad (text editor)
  • MemPad (tree-style outliner)
  • NPopUK (email)
  • PixaMSN (MSN Messenger clone)
  • Spread32 (Microsoft Excel clone)
  • Ted Notepad (Windows Notepad replacement)
  • PDF Producer (.pdf creator)

Tiny USB Office

How do you get Tiny USB Office?

Visit the Tiny USB Office website, download and unzip the program onto your flash (USB) drive.

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Don’t forget, each application has its own folder and “read me” files, so you can learn how to use the programs you want or need to use – delete the ones you do not want.

But is there an alternative?

While Tiny USB Office has a wide range of programs available in a small footprint for free, PortableApps.com offers a solid set of software in a maximum 350MB footprint.

PortableApps has a larger footprint, so you must have a bigger flash (USB) drive, which for most of us is not a problem – you can get 4GB drives on some bargain websites for less than $20!

What comes in the PortableApps Suite?

  • Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition (web browser)
  • Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition (email)
  • Mozilla Sunbird, Portable Edition (calendar/tasks)
  • ClamWin Portable (anti virus)
  • Pidgin Portable (instant messaging)
  • Sumatra PDF Portable (PDF reader)
  • KeePass Password Safe Portable (password manager)
  • Sudoku Portable (game)
  • Mines-Perfect Portable (game)
  • CoolPlayer + Portable (audio player)
  • OpenOffice.org Portable* (office suite)

PortableApps

How do you get the PortableApps Office Suite?

Stop by the PortableApps.com website and download the apps you’d like and follow the on-screen directions.

The Showdown: Which USB Office Package will be victorious?

PortableApps.com’s package is more popular because programs available are pretty popular within geeky and non-geeky circles, so there are large support bases for each program, as well as a built-in web browser (Firefox Portable), which Tiny USB Office does not have.

When it comes to size comparisons, there is no competition. Tiny USB Office is MUCH smaller than PortableApps’ Suite, even with the additional software that is included in the Tiny USB Office!

Let me let you in on a trick: download and install both PortableApps and Tiny USB Office; then add (by copy/paste or cut/paste) the Tiny USB Office programs you need or want to your Portable Apps’ “Programs” folder! Now, you will have one-click access to all of the portable office programs you need from your menu!

Hands down, PortableApps wins this battle because of the name recognition and strong community support its programs have, but Tiny USB Office does have something to offer because of its longevity in the portable applications arena and the wide variety of software offered. Put these two together and you have a winning team!

So what do you think? Are portable office applications necessary? Are you a PortableApps.com fan, or a Tiny USB Office fanboy (fangirl)? Do you have another suggestion?

Let’s hear it in the comments!

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Comments (8)
  • Fireface

    I use Portable Apps almost every day. I have added a number of extra programs to my “PortableApps” folder, as well as having my references data in another folder.

    I love the update feature of Portable Apps (although is sometimes doesn’t give you all the possible updates).

    The missing program has to be Truecrypt. I have all my data encrypted in a Truecrypt file, so if I lose my thumbdrive, no one else can get at my data

  • kaneda

    I use netiher of them,
    If you have time, you should chek framakey software (framakey.org/).
    It also cames with a launcher (framalaucher) which, when combined with FL tune, is fully customisable.
    regards

  • TallPaul

    So this will (of course) be Windows software then? I only ask as the article doesn’t appear to say so explicitly anywhere …

    (I’ve got Billix on my USB flash drive ;-))

  • Aibek

    I like both of them, though I must admit I use Portable Apps more. The larger foot print is not really an issue for me. I wrote a similar article a while ago, while it didn’t mention Tiny Office there were a couple of other alternatives.

    4 Ways to Carry your PC on iPod or USB Thumbdrive

  • Nathan Strutz

    I have been a Portableapps fan for years. It just makes sense. They have all the programs I would want anyways, and it’s almost completely replaced my classic “Utils” folder I used to tote from PC to PC, and more recently, via USB drive.

    With portable storage so cheap and expansive these days, I see Portableapps’ only downfall, the larger disk footprint, a non-issue.

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.