Microsoft Office is without a doubt the industry standard when it comes to word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, database management and email and desktop publishing. Regardless, there are open source alternatives available that may interest business owners, developers and users alike. Some people prefer Linux over Windows or Mac OS and everyone has their own individual tastes and standards when it comes to their computer setup and use.
Open source software has come a long way and continues to pave the way for software developers. Just because you didn’t pay for it doesn’t mean the software doesn’t contain a lot of features and support. Many of the open source options available provide just as good, if not better, tools and applications.
Below we take a look at several open source alternatives to Microsoft Office for anyone whom is interested.
- Apache OpenOffice – This is a free open source office software suite. You can do word processing with it, spreadsheets, presentations and so on. The cool thing about it is that you can save documents in their own format or save your work in Microsoft Word format. The software also allows you to read Microsoft Word documents, so even though you are using different software you are not losing any compatibility with other people who might be sending you files via Microsoft Word. The latest version works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS.
- LibreOffice – This software was developed by The Document Foundation. It boasts the same six applications that Apache does but its versions are different in terms of features available within the applications. LibreOffice is also considered to be more actively developed then Apache so it is evolving more quickly. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
- NeoOffice – NeoOffice is an application for Mac OS only. It was developed with the Mac user in mind and contains features that would be considered more important to their users. It contains a Mac-like installation process and integrates with the Mac OS interface. It also allows for the use of Mac OS fonts and printing services. Support is available for the software for a fee.
- KOffice – Koffice keeps it simple by offering an office suite with three tools; a spreadsheet, word processor and presentation application. It is open source and available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
If you are looking for an open source alternative to Microsoft Office, try the options above. Many of them appear to have the same functionality as the programs available in the typical Microsoft Office suite, but allow for open source development. Because of this, the programs offer various options that are not available with Microsoft Office and will continue to develop as a result of users contributions.
Microsoft Office will need to be careful and keep an eye on these competitors as they have the ability to evolve very rapidly due to their open source nature. If Microsoft isn’t careful, one of these open source options can take over as the “go-to” solution for office software.