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Microsoft Office and alternatives on remote desktop hosting (terminal server application hosting)

Our remote desktop hosting (terminal server hosting) servers are designed to provide access to your applications from anywhere. Using Windows remote desktop protocol, you can access your business applications, Access databases and other programs running on the server from any device using the remote desktop connection client (already installed on all windows PCs, see blog post here for free download of RDP client on macs Some clients install applications that interface with Microsoft Office or need Office installed for other purposes. Riptide Hosting offers Microsoft Office or stand-alone Excel or Access (2010 or 2013, Standard or Professional Plus) on a per user basis for $8-$16 per month. For the best user experience, we highly recommend Microsoft Office to limit compatibility issues or errors working with your existing applications that interface with Office.
Although we recommend Office and can provide the licensing on a monthly basis, some users wish to consider alternatives to Office that are fee. Below is a discussion of some alternatives:

Apache Open-Office
According to its website, “Apache OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.”

You can download the most recent version of Open-Office here:
Remember when installing programs on a Remote Desktop Server, you should follow these steps: Go to Control Panel -> Programs -> “Install Application on Remote Desktop…” You can see the Microsoft article on this here:
This sets the programs up to run for all the users.

Export to .csv file and copy to your local desktop
If you only have Office installed on your local machine, another option is to export reports from applications running on the remote desktop (terminal) server in Common Separate Values (.csv) format when it’s an option. Then you can copy the file to your local desktop and open using Office on your local machine. This often works for excel documents. This may not always be an option and does add additional steps versus having Microsoft Office or Excel installed on the server itself.

Excel and Word Viewers
If you don’t need to modify or save the document, you could use Excel Viewer and/or Word Viewer. These viewers allow you to open an excel/word document but not modify or save the document. Since this provides limited functionality, we recommend that you license Excel or Office through Riptide Hosting on a monthly, per-user basis.