WPS Office: The best free office suite since Kingsoft

Surprise! It IS Kingsoft Office, just with a new name, new features, and plenty of other goodies designed to make you forget Microsoft's suite.

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Kingsoft

You've heard it all before: There's no such thing is a free lunch. If it sounds too good to be true, it must be. Rick Broida sure is a handsome fellow.

Don't believe any of it. WPS Office is a full-featured office suite that costs absolutely nothing. It's way better than you'd expect, and more than capable of replacing Microsoft Office for, I suspect, the vast majority of users. Oh, and it's available not just for Windows, but also Android, iOS, and Linux. Again, for free.

Sound familiar? Perhaps you're thinking of Kingsoft Office, which in 2013 was my pick for best Microsoft Office alternative -- as well as best Office for iPad alternative.

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Kingsoft

Surprise! WPS Office is Kingsoft Office, rebranded and updated. Specifically, there's WPS Office 4.0 for iOS, WPS Office 6.1.1 for Android, and WPS Office 2014 Beta for Windows -- though you can stick with the previous version for now if you're not into beta testing.

All editions of WPS offer word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, with modules that bear more than a passing resemblance to the latest versions of Microsoft Office. And they're fully file-compatible with the latter.

I haven't had a chance to try the Android and iOS updates yet, but I can tell you that WPS Office 2014 Beta includes at least one sweet addition: File Roaming, which is Kingsoft's attempt at OneDrive: Any document you open gets automatically synced to online storage, where it's accessible via any other version of WPS Office. The implementation is a little clunky, and it's not made clear anywhere how much space you get, but it's still a great addition.

Personally, I quit Microsoft Office earlier this year and haven't looked back. I've been using Kingsoft Office 2013 and greatly enjoying its modern interface. Indeed, though some folks are fans of freebie suites like LibreOffice and OpenOffice, I find those tools a bit dated-looking. Kingsoft -- sorry, WPS -- feels fresh and current, and obviously the developers are working to keep it that way.

One important note: When you install the Windows version, make sure to deselect the "PC Faster" option, which I suspect adds some unwanted shovelware. (Kingsoft can be forgiven for attempting at least one revenue stream, so long as it's easy to bypass. Which it is.)

Before you spend any money on Microsoft Office, either now or in the future, you owe it to yourself to try WPS Office. For everyday documents, it's every bit as good.

Bonus deal: Run, don't walk, to your nearest Target and see if you can snag a Motorola Moto G smartphone for $59.99 (plus tax, natch) before the sale ends. It's available only in stores. This is the Boost Mobile version, meaning although the phone itself is dirt-cheap, there's no two-year contract subsidizing it. What's more, according to at least one Reddit thread, you can unlock the Moto G and take it to Ting. Sweet! (Stay tuned for a post on why I think Ting demands consideration as your next carrier.)

 

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