WHAT ARE SOME OTHER SPREADSHEET PROGRAMS THAT HAVE EMERGED AS COMPETITORS TO EXCEL

Microsoft Excel has long been the dominant force in the spreadsheet market, primarily due to its inclusion in the Microsoft Office suite and widespread usage in business and education. Over the years several other spreadsheet programs have emerged as viable competitors to Excel, aiming to challenge its legacy with new features and functionality. Here is an overview of some of the major Excel competitors that have gained popularity:

Google Sheets: Developed by Google as part of their Google Docs online office suite, Google Sheets is arguably Excel’s biggest competitor. As a web-based online spreadsheet, it allows for real-time collaboration across devices which has been a major advantage. Like all Google Docs apps, changes are automatically saved to the cloud and documents can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. While starting with fewer features than Excel, it has gained functionality over the years through regular updates and now supports macros, data validation, conditional formatting and other powerful tools. As a free product with over 1 billion users, it has succeeded in capturing significant market share from Excel for personal and business use.

LibreOffice Calc: Part of the free and open source LibreOffice suite, Calc is an excellent free alternative to Excel for general spreadsheet needs. It can open and interact with Excel files seamlessly while also preserving Excel macros and formulas. As the most popular free office suite, it has also gained advocacy from budget-conscious businesses and individuals seeking to reduce software costs. As an open source project, it has a large volunteer developer community constantly working on improving and adding new features to stay competitive with paid options. It may lack some specialized functions that advanced Excel users rely on.

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Apple Numbers: Developed by Apple as their alternative to Excel, Numbers is a spreadsheet program exclusively for Mac computers and iOS/iPadOS devices. While gaining prominence on Apple devices, it has failed to gain a significant user base outside the macOS and iOS ecosystems due to its platform restrictions. For users invested in Apple’s hardware and software ecosystem, Numbers provides a polished, reliable spreadsheet option that integrates seamlessly across Macs and iPads. It also comes bundled with new Apple devices, giving it an advantage over competing products. While catching up to Excel in features over the years, it may still lack some specialized functions.

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WPS Office Spreadsheets: Part of the WPS Office suite developed by Chinese company Kingsoft, WPS Spreadsheets is rising to prominence as a competitor to Excel in Asia and other international markets. Completely compatible with Excel document formats, it offers many of the same core functions with a more streamlined interface optimized for mobile and touchscreen use. As a cross-platform product compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android, it offers a viable alternative spreadsheet option for personal and business use across devices. While still developing new features, it has gained popularity on par with Excel in China and other regions.

OnlyOffice Spreadsheet: A component of the open source OnlyOffice office suite, this spreadsheet application is another capable free competitor to Excel. With a strong focus on compatibility with Excel document formats, it allows for seamless sharing and collaboration on spreadsheets between OnlyOffice and Excel users. Developed by the community-run company Ascensio System SIA, it is continuously updated with new features and compatibility improvements through input by its large open source developer community. Though still maturing, it presents itself as an enticing free option for individuals and businesses looking for an open source Excel alternative.

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Zoho Sheet: Developed by Zoho Corporation as part of their online office productivity suite, Zoho Sheet is another popular web-based spreadsheet option rivalling Excel and Sheets. With collaborative editing capabilities optimized for teams working across geographical barriers, it provides an attractive free option for cloud-based teamwork on spreadsheets. Its clean interface removes learning curve distractions to focus on core spreadsheet functions. While still finding its footing compared to larger competitors like Excel and Sheets, regular updates are improving functionality and features to remain competitive in this rapidly evolving market segment.

Those are some of the major spreadsheet programs that have gained prominence as competitors to the venerable Excel standard over recent years. With many viable free and cross-platform options emerging from companies large and small, the spreadsheet market is becoming increasingly dynamic and competitive. Excel’s continued stronghold depends on Microsoft keeping up regular innovation to justify its premium price in a field where capable alternatives are growing increasingly hard to ignore. It will be interesting to see which programs rise to greater popularity and gain broader adoption from businesses and individual consumers worldwide in the coming years.

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