When we think of an office suite we automatically think of Microsoft Office. WPS Office Software wants to put a stop to that.
WPS Office claims to beat Microsoft on price and convenience. The company wants to 'disrupt' the office suite and break down the US giant's market dominance.
"A lot of consumers don't realise they have options," Cole Armstrong, senior director of marketing at WPS Office, tells Techworld. "Microsoft has already capitalised and has the brand name that's already in everybody's head."
"That's the advantage that Microsoft Office currently has, and we're trying to break in there and disrupt it a little bit," Armstrong adds.
Made by Kingsoft, WPS Office is part of Beijing's largest tech company, which has been in operation since 1989, having more recently branched out into the international market five years ago.
WPS Office is a software suite comprising of WPS Writer, WPS Presentation, and WPS Spreadsheet.
"The product looks and it feels just like Microsoft Office," says Armstrong. "It's not a major change or a big learning curve to learn how to use our software. Then it's zero compromises so you still have all the same benefits, a familiar UI at a third of the price."
Right now WPS Office Software is experiencing strong growth across China, India and Indonesia, with over 1.2 billion installs in China alone. Its next move focusing on the US and European market.
"The frugal shopper is a common consumer we target," says Armstrong.
"Somebody who's looking to save a little bit of money, but not compromise resolution. We are also targeting small businesses that are also looking to save money," he adds.
Like with most products, the biggest pull is price and reliability. Consumers don't want to compromise on features when opting for a cheaper or free software package.
WPS Office has a unique way of tackling this.
"We are the only office suite solution right now that has a free ad-supported model," Armstrong explains.
"All other competitors have a stripped down, free version or offer a free trial but don't have a 100 percent free solution. That kind of goes hand in hand with the affordability."
However, while the commonality between WPS Office and Microsoft Office is clear, an increasing number of consumers and business users are looking to cloud-based working suites, with Google Apps being the perfect example.
These suites offer automatic saving, access from virtually anywhere with an internet connection and provide a light office suite that won't take up storage on your PC or laptop.
WPS Office's has recently launched WPS Cloud in an attempt to take on Google and take advantage of its winning formula. And while it's in its infancy, the potential for integrated cloud services is just the tip of the iceberg.
"WPS Cloud is part of WPS Office. It's embedded into all the applications. It's not a standalone solution," explains Armstrong.
"The WPS Cloud really specialises in and makes it possible for cross-device support. It'll all sync, and make sure you have the latest versions on each device.
"One key feature for the WPS Cloud is file sharing. This is something that's also very important to users. Being able to take a document that's been uploaded to the cloud, easily click and get a unique URL," he adds.
How does WPS Office Software compare to Microsoft and Google?
Having won best mobile tech for consumers at 'the techies' awards this year, WPS Office's mobile platform receives over 100 million active users each month.
"What's really great is on our mobile [platform] the writer, presentation, spreadsheet and built-in PDF reader all fit in one application," says Armstrong.
"Unlike our competitors, Microsoft or even Google Docs, users have to install an application for Word, another application for PowerPoint, another application for Excel, and then it just takes up a lot of space on their phone."
"We've bundled them all together and it's a very, very small footprint on your phone," he adds.
Although Microsoft and Google currently occupy the top spot for consumers in the UK, WPS's international expansion and new ventures into the cloud could see it exploit the gap in the market where quality and affordability meet.