ProjectManager Is the Best Microsoft Project Alternative on the Market. ProjectManager.com is an award-winning solution for those looking for an inexpensive, easy-to-use Microsoft Project alternative for Mac and PC. Our cloud-based project management software has the same key features you need, plus collaboration features your team will. If you own a Mac, you might already be familiar with Apple’s own productivity suite, iWork. It features alternatives for the main Microsoft Office apps: Pages (Word), Numbers (Excel), and Keynote (PowerPoint). While these apps were formerly exclusive to Macs, anyone can access them now for free through iCloud as well as on iPad and iPhone. Moneyspire is the best alternative to Microsoft Money! Download Moneyspire. The software is compatible with Mac and Windows, and data can be shared interchangeably.
SPOTIO’s integration with Google Places is one of the reasons it is the optimal Streets and Trips alternative for 2021. There are over 100 million “places” in Google Places, all with comprehensive points of interest data. Also, Google Places data updates daily, to the tune of 25 million updates every day. Our intuitive tool was designed for use in any modern web browser to ensure minimal lagging and optimal creative capabilities. Whether you’re using Windows or a Mac, you’ll find our Microsoft Publisher free alternative a versatile tool for your creative design pursuits.
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Where to start?
Are you aWindows user and want to gradually wean yourself off of a dependenceon Microsoft? Download, make a copy from a friend (yes, it'slegal), or order TheOpenCDwhich is a fantastic CD packed with a ton of great opensource software that will give you a taste on Windows of what'savailable on open source operating systems like Linux.You will be getting a fully featured, free office suite, a powerfulphoto editor, a cutting edge web browser, and so much more.Start usingthese very high quality, non-Microsoft applications today onWindows and you can gradually decrease your dependence on Microsoftat your own pace. Every Microsoft alternative you use helps tokeep choice and innovation in the software industry alive and itmoves you one step closer to being free fromeverything that is wrong with Microsoft.
If you're sick of the unreliability, the bloat, the insecurity, andthe perpetual upgrading associated with Microsoft products you'll behappy to know that there are some excellent alternatives out there.The list below is meant as an introduction to Microsoft alternativesand as such it is by no means comprehensive.
The KMFMS recommendedproducts are products that we here at KMFMShave personally used with great satisfaction. The recommended list doesnot necessarilyreflect the value of other alternatives, it is simply a list of productsthat we can personally vouch for. Just because a product isn't recommendedby KMFMS doesn't mean it isn't a great product - it may just mean that wehaven't had a chance to extensively use it yet. You may also beinterested in what other users have to recommend in the'alternatives' section ofour discussion forums.
Legal disclaimer: all product names below are trademarks of theirrespective owners.
|Category||Microsoft Product(s)||Alternative(s)||KMFMS Recommends|
|Desktop Operating System||Windows||Linux,Mac OS X,and many, many more||Fedora (Linux),Mac OS X|
|Web Browser||Internet Explorer||FirefoxNetscape,Opera,Lynx,ELinks,iCab, andmany, many more||Firefox|
|Office Suite, Word Processor, and Spreadsheet||Microsoft Office, Word, and Excel||OpenOffice.org,StarOffice,Corel Office,Lotus Smart Suite,Appleworks,KOffice,GNOME Office,WaveMaker||OpenOffice.org|
|Email Client||Outlook||Thunderbird,Eudora,Pine,and many, many more||Thunderbird*|
|Web Based Email||Hotmail||Gmail,Yahoo! Mail,Hushmail,KMFMS Email||Yahoo! Mail|
|Server Operating System||Windows||BSD,Linux,Mac OS X,Solaris,and many, many more||RHEL,OpenBSD|
|Web Server||IIS, Frontpage||Apache,Tomcat,lighttpd,Zeus,Boa,thttpd,Enhydra,and many, many more||Apache,Tomcat,lighttpd|
|Game Console||Xbox||Sony PlayStation,Nintendo||Sony PlayStation*|
|Internet Service Provider (ISP)||MSN||AOL,Earthlink,||Within the USA:Earthlink for dial-up,|
|Email Server||Exchange||Sendmail,Qmail,Exim,Steltor's Outlook Connector||Evaluation not complete|
Did you realize that older computers which can't satisfactorily runthe latest version of Windows can be given a second lease on life byinstalling an operating system that better manages resources? Are youa home or businessuser who is tired of the instability of Windows or who could use theperformance increase that a well written OS would offer? You may be interestedto know that there is an OS out there calledLinux which offers much better performancethan Windows and without the overhead. Linux will breathe new life intohardware that you thought was obsolete and it will unleash the real powerin newer hardware. Even Microsoftcan't help but give Linux a glowing review as you can read in theirinternal memo that wasleaked in October 1998. Oh yeah - Linux is free too.
Another excellent option to consider if you are buying a new desktop or laptop isMac OS X. OS Xcombines the legendary ease of use and stylishness of Apple'sMacintosh operating system with the rock solid stability and power ofBSD. It easily outflanks Windows in ease of use, style, stability,security, and power. Mac OS X comes included with new Macs.
Are you an administrator who uses Windows as a server? If so, you should be awarethat the alternatives are more reliable, much more secure, andmuch less expensive.Linux makes an excellent server withits stability and excellent performance. It's also easy to install andeasy to administer if you get a distribution such asRed Hat's.If security is a concern (as it should be) you may also be interested inthe OpenBSD operating systemwhich is perhaps the most secure operating system in the world.It makes a great server and it completely blows away Windows (as well as mostother operating systems) when it comes to security.
Linux and BSD (including Mac OS X) are our favorites here at KMFMS because they have proven to be excellentsolutions for various projects. There are, however, several other non-Microsoft solutionsthat we haven't tried so those of you wishing to get a broad overview of what's out therecheck out the review ofoperating systems at tunes.org,the KMFMS forum on alternatives, orYahoo's listof operating systems (by the way - Yahoo, one of most heavily used sites on the internet,also runs on BSD).
Editor's note: the following information on the Mac OS was accuratewhen it was first published in August 1999. Some information,such as current version numbers, has since changed.
A KMFMS Reader writes: For those of who want a professional-level OS, but don't want to spend all your time learning it, MacOS X Server is good. (It's ideal for a small network.) OS X Server is only at version 1.0, but is quite comparable to Linux. With your help, it can grow into something that'll make Microsoft shake in their boots. It sits upon the Mach microkernel and BSD.
The best choice in web browsers for nearly all people isFirefox(although, Safari is also agood choice for Mac users). If you are on Windows you should use itbecause it has nowhere near the number of security exploits asInternet Explorer, it is packed with a lot of powerful features whileretaining a very clean feel, it is quite stable, it won't bring downyour operating system if it does happen to crash because it hasn'tbeen forcefully shoved into the OS like Internet Explorer, andit properly supports Java (unlike IE). If you're not using Windows (goodfor you) then you're probably already using something else becauseMicrosoft can't strong-arm you into using IE. Although Microsoft doeshave a version of IE for the Mac, they have no loyalty and you woulddo well to not rely on it being there going forward since they havealready pulled the rug out from under users on other operating systems.Microsoft initially released a version of IE for Solaris so that theycould claim that IE was 'cross platform', but it didn't take them verylong after IE gained a majority market share to drop the Solarisversion entirely.
There are a ton of other browsers out there, some of which may be better than Firefoxfor certain situations. Several people considerOpera the ultimate lightweight browserand its speed and small size are very impressive if you're into that sort of thing.Also, Lynx andELinks are both text only browserswhich can be extremely useful for remote administration, but chancesare if you have a use for them you probably already knew what theywere. Finally, there's a whole slew ofbrowsers at Yahoothat fit into other niche markets.
Office Suites, Word Processors, and Spreadsheets
Why would anybody spend several hundred dollars on Microsoft Officewhen there are high quality, free equivalents available? Saveyourself some money by trying the free, high-quality, open sourceOpenOffice.org today.Not only will you save yourself a bundle now, but you'll save yourselfeven more on upgrades in the future as you will no longer be lockedinto Microsoft's viscous cycle of forcing MS Office upgrades by changingthe 'doc' and 'xls' file formats (OpenOffice.org does a good job of keeping up withthe newer MS Office file formats).
OpenOffice.org providesalternatives to many of the applications which make up the MicrosoftOffice suite including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, MicrosoftPowerPoint, Microsoft Access, and more.
If you work in a (physical) officethat uses office suite softwareand you are worried about potential compatibility issues, try this: limityour MS Office installation to a single machine and install OpenOffice.orgeverywhere else. For internal documents and documents which you print(or otherwise distribute in hardcopy form) you can standardize on theOpenOffice.org format (which is an open standard and not proprietary). For the few documents that you want toelectronically distribute outside your company, you can use OpenOffice.orgto write the document in MS Office format and then use your singleinstallation of MS Office to touch up anything that may not haveconverted perfectly. For incoming documents in MS Office format,OpenOffice.org will read most without a problem. If there ever are anyproblems, simply use your single installation of MS Office. Thissimple strategy could save even a small office several thousanddollars.
There's a very goodreason why Outlook has come to be nicknamed LookOut by seasoned users.Microsoft Outlook has a notorious security history with many a virusowing its ability to spread to Outlook's 'features'.Help slow the spread of email viruses and support software diversity byusing another email program, such as the free and excellentThunderbird.
Perhaps you use Outlook for more than just email and an address book. If you use Outlook for scheduling as well, you may also want to consider using Yahoo! Calendar in conjunction with Thunderbird or a web based email solution. This can provide quite a bit more convenience and versatility than using Outlook by itself.
Do you want to further explore combining alternatives to replace how you use Outlook? If so:
- Post your own question in the KMFMS forum on alternatives.
Web Based Email
When selecting a web based email service, you absolutely do not want touse Hotmail. Forget for a moment the large number of security holesthat have been uncovered in the Hotmail service (including one thatallowed anybody to read the email from any Hotmail account without using a password). An even bigger problem is that by using Hotmailyou are very likely to become victim of Microsoft's typical lock-intactics at some point in the not-too-distant future. MSN has lockedout non Microsoft browsers before, forcing people to use InternetExplorer, so what happens if Hotmail starts doing this too? Don't thinkfor a second that it doesn't matter because you use IE anyway - whathappens when you're traveling and you stop to check your email viathe web? What if you're visiting a friend who uses Firefox or you'reat a web kiosk that uses Linux underneath for security purposes? Youwon't be able to use IE, which means you won't be able to use servicesthat require IE.
Yahoo! Mail is an excellentalternative to Hotmail. It features exceptional functionality whichmany people consider superior to Hotmail (having never used Hotmailourselves, we are relying on third party comparisons). Mostimportantly, it is not produced by a company that has a vestedinterest in forcing users to use a particular browser. In fact,Yahoo! has an excellent track record of making their content availableto the widest possible audience. Yahoo! Mail is a good way to protectyourself against the software lock-in and incompatibility that yourisk by using Hotmail.
Microsoft Publisher Alternative For Mac
If you're running a web server it's tough to beatApache.Over half the web servers on the internet are running Apache(Source: Netcraft), it hasthe largest number of developers developing for it(Source: Netcraft), and it offers far more performancethan most websites could ever dream of needing. It's also open source and freein all senses of the word which means it is more secure (because it is subject topeer review and doesn't rely on security through obscurity), it rapidly incorporatesnew standards, it is feature rich while at the same time capable of being entirelystripped down for maximum performance,it is well modularized for easy expandability, and it is guaranteed tohave long term viability because it is not being used to drive a perpetual upgradecycle. Add the PHP module onto Apachewhich makes dynamic content a lot easier to generate than with the CGI of daysgone by, and you have a first class web server for no money down and no payments ever.For an even more elegant and highly scalable dynamic content system, check outthe Tomcat servlet containerfor serving JSP and servlet content from Apache or other servers.
If you are fortunate to hit the performance limitations of the Apacheweb server, lighttpd is acompelling upgrade option. It combines the incredible scalability ofnext generation web servers with a high degree of customizability andthe ability to serve dynamic content in many of the same ways asApache. Like Apache, it too is free and open source, so youautomatically get the benefits of peer review and long term viability.
The PlayStation platform has a much larger library of games availablethan the Xbox. Furthermore, current incarnation of the PlayStationare still capable of playing games made for older PlayStations, whichexpands the available library even more given that the PSOne was oneof the most successful systems in history.
Please note: this recommendation is under consideration for possible reconsideration. You may want to consider other alternatives as well, such as Nintendo.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
You should definitely avoid using MSN because it will force you intousing Microsoft's software. As of this writing (November, 2001) youmust use Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Hotmail to retrieve your MSNmail and the MSN website portal recently made headlines by blockingmost users who weren't using Internet Explorer (earning Microsoft amuch deserved rebuke from Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the WorldWide Web). You would be much better off with a non-Microsoft ISP andthere is practically no reason to go with Microsoft in this case asISPs are all very standardized and Microsoft doesn't wield monopolypower in that industry (yet).
Your physical location will have a great impact on your choices ofISPs. 'The List' is a verycomprehensive list of ISPs which should help you find an ISPregardless of your location. If you are in the United States, youmight want to considerEarthlink for dial-up access or
The KMFMS evaluation of email servers is not complete enough to make arecommendation because expectations vary widely on what an emailserver is meant to do. Here at KMFMS we actually have considerableexperience with email servers within the context of sending andreceiving email. The problem is that enterprises might also want theemail server to handle ancillary tasks, such as calendaring, and weonly have experience using email servers for email.If you want a best of breed email server that outshines Exchangeon what email servers are supposed to do (transfer email) look nofurther than the staples of the internet,Sendmail andQmail.For email servers that handle more than email,we will reserve recommendations for a later date. For now, we willpass along the following pitch from arepresentative at Steltor who has informed us thatSteltor's Outlook Connectoris a 'piece of client-side middleware (MAPIservice providers) that allows you to replace Exchange with astandards-based offering consisting of a mail server offered bySteltor partners such as Sendmail, directory servers (offered bySteltor partners) and a best-of-breed calendar server offered bySteltor.'
A KMFMS reader wrote in to highly recommendExim writing that he stronglyprefers it over Sendmail and that it has easy to use spamfiltering.
Another KMFMS reader also wrote in to tell us aboutEMWAC IMS. He said that ifyou are stuck using Windows, EMWAC IMS is an excellent, free choicefor a mail server.He used it at his own ISP which handled over 100,000 email messages aday on a Pentium 100 and he claims that it is very well supportedin the community.
Do you want to further explore Exchange alternatives? If so:
- Post your own question in the KMFMS forum on alternatives.
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