Ethical alternatives to Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office has serious problems with privacy, as this official report for the Dutch government explains:

“Microsoft systematically collects data on a large scale about the individual use of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Covertly, without informing people. … Microsoft does not offer any choice with regard to the amount of data, or possibility to switch off the collection, or ability to see what data are collected…”

We would recommend you drop Microsoft Office for your own sake, and for the sake of people you deal with (friends, customers, co-workers). There are better alternatives that offer the same features without violating people’s privacy.



The most popular free libre alternative to Microsoft Office is the LibreOffice suite. It’s easy to use and suitable both for individuals and businesses.

The suite is made up of Writer (equivalent to Word), Calc (equivalent to Excel), Impress (equivalent to PowerPoint), Base (equivalent to Access), Draw (equivalent to Visio or CorelDraw) and Math (a mathematical formula editor).

LibreOffice is compatible with Microsoft file formats, so you don’t have to convert files, and it works in a broadly similar way.

WINDOWS / MAC / LINUX APPLibreOffice Suite

ANDROID APP LibreOffice Viewer



The most popular libre email app for computers is Thunderbird, and is a good alternative to Microsoft Outlook. (It also includes RSS features for reading news stories.)



Aimed at businesses, OnlyOffice is a libre suite of tools including document editors, email, client databases, project management, calendars, forums and more.

It can be used as an online service for a monthly fee, or it can be self-hosted free of charge and integrated into a company’s own systems.

There is also an offline version of the suite which can be used from a desktop app.

It also includes optional integration with the NextCloud libre file storage system.

There are apps available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iPhone/iPad.


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