Microsoft Office has long been the de-facto program for word processing, spreadsheets and presentation creation. That standard comes with a price. Even with educational discounts, MS Office can be a costly program to license, upgrade and maintain. Over the past few years, independent open-source software developers have created several free alternatives to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The best of these alternatives, OpenOffice for Windows/Mac and NeoOffice for Mac are excellent, no-cost replacements for Microsoft Office and are worth a try for individuals, schools and businesses craving an escape from Microsoft’s pricey version-upgrade treadmill.