SoftMaker, a German company that makes an excellent, lower-priced alternative to Microsoft Office, is offering a 20% discount on SoftMaker Office 2010
(versions for Windows and for Linux) through the end of July. Normally, SoftMaker Office sells for $79.95, but through the end of July the price is $63.95. The 20% discount is actually on all SoftMaker's products, which I think includes upgrades. Thus, if you've taken advantage of the opportunity to get SoftMaker Office 2008 (currently offered for free
!), you can upgrade to the current version for $31.95.
If you are a teacher or student, you can qualify for SoftMaker's academic pricing--SoftMaker Office 2010 is available to teachers and students
for $34.95 or €29.95. I'm not sure, but I think the 20% discount may even apply to this price.
I've been using SoftMaker Office (primarily TextMaker, their alternative to MS Word) for a while now, and I'm very pleased. I was never all that proficient with MS Office, so I probably can't describe the differences between MS and SoftMaker--except for the price
. I can say that I went the route I describe above, first getting the 2008 version for free and then a while later taking advantage of a sale to upgrade to SoftMaker Office 2010 at a reduced price. I did so because the 2010 version handles .docx files, whereas I think the 2008 version does not. I find I can make and read and edit MS Office files very well in SoftMaker Office.