How can I best replace my expiring Microsoft Office trial?

Kristen November 10, 2010
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I used to have tech support for my computer from work, but I’ve recently resigned and am trying to reproduce a useful system for myself.

My new computer came with trials for Microsoft’s Word, PowerPoint, and Excel; however, they are about to expire. I don’t have a job as of yet so I need to find the most affordable option for replacing these features.

I have noticed replacements on Ebay that are not Microsoft, but which claim to be similar and even have tech support. I’ve also been told that there are free copies of old Microsoft editions, but I have no idea where to find these or whether they are even legal.

Could someone please steer me in the right direction? Thanks so much. : )

  1. Guest
    November 28, 2010 at 5:02 am

    That should give you some additional time. You may get a popup when you first open the program but it should be fully functional.

    Even if your trial is expired, you should be able to open documents....usually you won't be able to edit and then re-save them.

  2. Oron Joffe
    November 20, 2010 at 12:31 pm


    As others have said, OpenOffice is the way to go, at least for the present time. It will open MS Office documents (*including* PowerPoint presentation, which it will show in the 'Impress' application). You can also save documents in Office formats, and if you reaally want to, you can set that as your preferred (default) format.

    For simple documents and tasks, it will work perfectly. If you have complex documents or needs, but file conversion is not always perfect with more complex documents. As for the application itself, it's noticably slow and has some bugs, but is still very usable and should tide you over until you have a new job (good luck with that!). If your needs are quite basic, consider one of the online Office packages, such as GoogleDocs or ZohoOffice, both of which are free to use.

  3. Uyraell
    November 20, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Librero Office is currently the most likely replacement for Open Office.

    Open Office has been purchased by Oracle, which appears to be attempting to commercial-ise Open Office despite O-O having originally been Open Source in origin.

    Fearing exactly this unwelcome circumstance, some of the original developers of Open Office took the Source Code and redeveloped it as Librero Office, in order that there remained an truly Open Source alternative to MS-Office.

    Hence, Librero Office now exists to fill the niche recently vacated by Open Office, and is thus the new Open Source (meaning free for personal use) alternative to MS Office.

    Librero Office is a free download from (among other places) Cnet Downloads.

    There have been a couple of recent articles detailing the outlines I have commented above in both Cnet and ZDnet.

    I wish you every success.


  4. michael
    November 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    OpenOffice is the way to go. If you need PowerPoint or Access you will have to go with Microsoft Office. There are database and presentation software in OpenOffice but nothing compared to the MS one.

  5. timmyjohnboy
    November 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    My choice of word processing suite is OpenOffice. It truly is free and open source. Actual tech support isn't there but you can find help.Visit http://openoffice.orgSupport page: on your needs, Google docs can also serve as a replacement. There are a plethora of articles here on Makeuseof about Google Docs.

    • Smiley1slp
      November 14, 2010 at 7:10 am


      O.k. so there is an alternative. Would I be able to view my old files and documents in WORD and PDF formats?? many thanks!!

      • Tina
        November 15, 2010 at 6:59 am

        Yes, Open Office will let you view Microsoft Office documents!

        And you can save or export Open Office files to Microsoft Office file formats, so that other people who do not use Open Office can open them. Or just export to PDF, which is a universal format.

        By the way, the standard PDF reader software is powered by Adobe, not Microsoft, so it has nothing to do with Microsoft Office!

      • Uyraell.
        November 20, 2010 at 7:06 am

        For PDF documents, it is hard to go past Foxit PDF Reader. This is a free alternative to the Adobe product, and much less of a system resource hog.

        If my recall is correct, Foxit is yet another of the many free Open Source products available to the home user, for personal use.

        NotePad++ is useful as a Word Doc reader/editor, as is Librero Office, to which an earlier comment of mine in reply to you has referred.

        Over the years, I've used several Open Source products of various natures, and to my surprise found each to be as useful and user-friendly as any of the costly commercial alternatives. There are various websites devoted to making such Open Source products freely available, and a little time spent in researching same will provide good rewards.

        Regards, Uyraell.

  6. Tilman
    November 11, 2010 at 10:42 am


    I am not sure what you mean with "replacing your MS Office" . Do you mean replacing the trial version of Office with a full version of Office, or replacing Microsoft with something else? If you are happy with Microsoft Office, then you just need to buy an activation code (for example from Microsoft's website) in order to activate your trial version. No new installations needed, you just activate your existing Office version. I am not sure what is currently the cheapest way to get an activation code legally. Check out Ebay, Amazon, your local retail computer shop, and of course as I already mentioned the Microsoft website.

    If you want to replace Microsoft with other cheaper Office software, go for Open Office! It is completely legally available for free on the net. It has basically all features that also Microsoft's Office has, so there is basically no reason not to use Open Office :) The only reason is that, if you are used to Microsoft Office, you will need some time to get used to Open Office. Personally, I used Open Office for some time but then decided to buy Microsoft Office because I just know it so much better after having used it for years.

    There are of course also tons of other alternatives (for example Google's online system which anybody can use for free) but I am not sure what to say about them. You can start your research in Wikipedia:

    I hope this helped!



    • Smiley1slp
      November 14, 2010 at 7:08 am


      Thanks so much for responding. I do like the microsoft office but I don't have the mula to replace it when I'm not working. I plan on using your suggestion and trying out the Open Office until I get a new job which supplies me with another computer!! That won't be too long as it is allready getting tough to pay the bills which didn't stop just because I did!! I'm wondering though, what will happen to all my files and documents which are Word or PDF's ?? Will I be unable to view these without purchasing the product codes??thanks so much!

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