When I found that Microsoft Office 2000 would take 430mb of disk space (on a 15 gig drive) I began using Star Office 5.2. I went to Open Office (the open source version of Star Office) when there was no longer a Star Office freebie.
The EU by now has embraced Open Office as a practical free alternative to MS Office. Newer versions of Open Office now make it possible to password a Word document. And now the shoe is on the other foot with MS Office able to handle documents saved in Open Office’s native file format, .odt (open document text).