When buying a new computer or even reinstalling Windows on an existing computer, many people do not realise that there is no way to reliably transfer a program from one computer to another. That is fine so long as you don’t need to reinstall a program, but there are no guarantees that you will never need to replace your hard drive, or have to reinstall Windows due to a virus infection or some other cause of data corruption, so you may have to reinstall software.
In the past week alone we have had to repair a local PC in Broughton Astley due to a power surge that corrupted the computer file system and also had to reinstall Windows on a local laptop in Hinckley that had a failed hard drive that needed replacing.
Also when we deliver a new computer, we often see a frown on customer’s faces when they try to remember where they put those program installation disks from years ago.
Many times you can just download new device driver software, but when it comes to something like Microsoft Office, it’s a whole new ballgame. All those documents, spreadsheets, etc. need a program to open them and if you don’t have one, you can have a real problem.
If you have found the installation disk, great. If you just have a card with an activation code, you may be able to download the Office software again, depending on the version of Office that you have. Similarly if you bought a download installation package, you may be able to download it again.
But if you do not have the original Office installation disk or installation package, what are your options? Microsoft no longer supply CDs of their software and similarly you can no longer buy individual Office programs such as Outlook or Word. Essentially you have two choices – you either buy an expensive download or rent the Office software on an annual basis.
The Free Office Alternative
There is however a free alternative to Microsoft Office, called Libre Office.
This is an alternative Office suite that is compatible with Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint files and more, and it is free because it is Open Source software. So you can carry on using the files that you already have, without having to buy another copy of Office.
Libre Office is not just for use in the Home, we know of small businesses that choose to use it for general office tasks too. It is reliable and is compatible to a high degree.
Unfortunately, this free software does not provide an alternative to the Outlook email program.
Be careful what you download
If you want to get the Libre Office download, you can get the software from their website at https://www.libreoffice.org/.
If not going straight to the website to get the download, be very careful where you download it from as there are websites out there that try to get you to download it from them, but it is not the genuine article and may even contain malware.
Why not try it out? You may find that you can save yourself some money!
If you need help in transferring your data or installing software, give us a call on 01455 209505.