Office Suite that rocks - for free!

The (MS) Office is dead, long live the (Kingsoft) Office!

There is a lot of really good software out there that just keeps on getting better, but unfortunately are not too well known... Especially if they come from China.
I have a nasty habit of checking the developer websites once in awhile to see what development has happened since the last visit. This is a story about one of those visits.

Bye bye MS Office

Today was a good day... no, that would be an understatement... mind-blowing day!
It was just yesterday when I was checking the latest advances in LibreOffice and OpenOffice and not too pleased with the fact that they just seem to be too unpolished and missing some major functionality compared to the king of the hill; MS Office.

As a Linux user MS Office is out of the question but I have been eyeing a lot into Kingsoft Office Suite which is really polished and feature rich Office package.
It was just last May when I checked Kingsoft's website and there was no mention about a Linux version... but as it turned out they have one now! It is still a Alpha11 version (patch 3), but they already have DEB/RPM/TAR packages freely available.
So head on over to Kingsoft community pages now and you will be amazed - I guarantee it!

Installation on my Fedora 19 + Sony Vaio Pro (full HD ultrabook) went without a hick-up. After starting the presentation part it notified about few missing symbol like (Symbol, Windings 1/2/3) font sets but that's OK as there is plenty of other fonts to use. The GUI is just so fine on HD screen that it is going to take few days to recover from this super positive user experience.

Just to mention few functions you will fell in love immediately:
  • Software available for Linux, Android (one package for phones/tablets - optimized for tablets too), Windows, iPhone and iPad.
  • Android version integrated tightly to cloud; Google Drive, Dropbox, BOX, SkyDrive and WebDAV/FTP. By the way: 10 000 000+ installations - eat your heart out Microsoft
  • Supports MS Office formats - even the latest ones
  • Available as free (all platforms) and paid version (for Windows users)
  • Personally I like the 'tabs' approach to multiple documents; the one thing that really bugs me on MS Office at work
  • As MS Office user you feel immediately at home with this - zero training needed. This is something that people usually complain about when talking about Libe/OpenOffice (as well as incompatibility to MS Office docs finer features (comments, fonts, placements, etc))
  • A bunch of really nice free templates for all Suite apps - this is really a problem with other free office suites
  • The transition effects, animations, shapes, presentation mode, dictionary - they all just work out of the box! I especially like the really smooth presentation animations & effects (in LibreOffice you need to install libreoffice-ogltrans package to gain 3D OpenGL slide transitions which are not that great to be honest) 

There are few shortcomings, but these are not showstoppers
  • Only English and Chinese supported as Linux GUI language at the moment
  • No OneNote or equivalent (Linux users, please check out Zim that I wrote about earlier in this blog)

Just added one teaser screenshot here to give you an idea about how polished the presentation software is.