[CC] Softmaker Office 2008 is now available as freeware!

There are a variety of free office suites out there – both online and as software. These freebies usually fall in one of these three categories:

  • Free shareware software as a giveaway
  • Open source software
  • Freeware

The software dotTechie “Amnesia” (thx Amnesia!) brings to us today is shareware-gone-freeware. In other words, it used to be shareware (which was available as a freebie multiple times in the past) but now is a permanent freebie, which I am considering to be freeware. Take note that the developer does not explicitly say “freeware” but does say this program is available for free “permanently”. The best part is there are no mentioned restrictions for home or business use (i.e. it does not say for home use only).

Whatever you want to call it, keep in mind this used to be a shareware program; that is most important to remember. Oh wait, did I forget to mention the name of the software? My bad. I present [dramatic pause]… Softmaker Office 2008!

SoftMaker Office has many functions of the correspondent programs from MS Office, OpenOffice.org or WordPerfect Office and also adds features such as its ability to run off USB flash drives and integrated reference works. It uses not only its own native formats, but is also highly compatible with Microsoft Office file formats. It can read and write Microsoft Office file formats as well as OpenDocument Format (word processor only), RTF and HTML. Export to PDF function is included. Multi-language spell-checking, hyphenation and thesaurus is supported; furthermore an integrated five-language translation dictionary (English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish).

The user interface is based on Microsoft Office’s look and feel.

According to the developer’s website, Softmaker Office 2008 consists of three programs:

  • TextMaker
    • Word processor
      • The Microsoft Word compatible word processor that’s so easy to use that you’ll begin to wonder why you struggled with Microsoft Word for so long.

  • PlanMaker
    • Spreadsheet
      • The Microsoft Excel compatible spreadsheet that opens and saves all your Excel workbooks and comes with many time-saving functions.

  • SoftMaker Presentations
    • Presentation graphics
      • The presentation-graphics program that not only lets you access all your PowerPoint files, but also makes your life easier with many additional features.

Editor’s note: Although SoftMaker claims SoftMaker Office is compatible with Microsoft Office products, take not it not compatible with Office 2007 version of files. In other words, it will work with .DOC/.PPT/.XLS but will not work with .DOCX/.PPTX/.XLSX.

My Personal Opinion

Now I’m going to come out as quite honest and tell you that I have never used this product, never intend to use this product, or ever thought about using this product.

Why? It’s because I personally dont know the potentiality for this product. I have been in love with Microsoft Office since the first day I got Microsoft Office on my little computer. However, I did help my sister in getting used to OpenOffice and I do carry OpenOffice on my flashdrive in case of an emergency. To me Softmaker Office 2008 sounds a bit outdated since the 2010 version is being sold for $80 bucks or so.

Don’t get me wrong: I dont want to scare anyone who thinks that this is a great product, because it is a GREAT product. It’s just that when you balance this to other freeware – like OpenOffice – this doesn’t seem as good.

Here are details to SoftMaker Office and other freeware office utilities so you can test them out and make up your own mind:

SoftMaker Office 2008

Product page: http://www.softmakeroffice.com/

Download/registration page: http://www.softmakeroffice.com/register_en.htm

Note: There is a Windows and Linux version


Traditional Office Suites

Online Office Suites

Thank All!

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  1. Megaman

    I’ve tested Open Office and I agree that it’s great but slow, that’s why I go towards IBM Lotus Symphony. It’s just Open Office with a tweak that allows the program to launch faster, High Performance Mode. 1 problem with OO and Presentation is that it takes forever to load up, it feels like forever to me, even after a cold boot, and the next openings will still take a while. 1 problem relating to Presentation, but on Softmaker Office, is that the multiple choice problems I had in my Accounting class show up as symbols when it should be a, b, c, and d. I don’t see any of those problems with Symphony other that the Full Screen presentation is laggy(You just need a faster processor, but a faster processor can load any program fast, even the heavy OO.) and first-load from Presentation, a.k.a. PowerPoint, files take a while to load up the program, but it won’t take as long as OO, even with OO’s warm boot.

  2. Ian

    Totally agree with Unicorn02, used this on my netbook since I got it, Open/Libre Office would take up too much space and resources.
    When they eventually bring out a new version they might well make 2010 free as they did with 2008.

  3. Unicorn02

    Here my fast recap:
    Softmaker Office 2008:
    – Smaller installation than LibreOffice
    – Faster than LibreOffice
    – Attention!: Cannot handle the newer Office Formats (.docx, .xlsx)
    You need the newer 2010 Version to open those.

    If you can live with the limitation not to work with the new office formats, it is an excellent replacement for LibreOffice. However Softmaker has a free viewer that can open the Office 2007 formats.