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Hands-on: Polaris Office is a free Office alternative, but read the fine print

Mark Hachman | March 9, 2016
Perhaps you've seen Polaris Office on Android or iOS. Now it moves onto the PC.

A big issue for me, however, is that there’s apparently no help function—there’s no menu item that I can find, and tapping “F1” brings up a Like/Suggestion/Problem/See all Reviews menu. And no, the Problem option simply offers a form to report an issue, not research a solution. That means that you’re going to have to dig through the menus to find what you want to do—with none of Microsoft Office’s “tell me what you want to do” prompts. 

In all, though, Polaris Office seems like a competent alternative to Microsoft Office, and the fact that it’s free to try out allows you a rather risk-free means to evaluate it yourself. Avoid its pitfalls, and realize that eventually you’ll have to pay to use it. With its cloud support and focused feature roadmap, though, Polaris Office would work best for those users who just want Office’s essentials.


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