Microsoft Office is an office suite of desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft on August 1, 1989. Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Office is reported to now be used by over a billion people worldwide.
Microsoft Office is glossy. Very glossy. With newer operating systems, cleaner interfaces, and a very design-driven tech world booming around us, it can be a bit rough to see how glossy Microsoft’s offering is compared to a rough-around-the-edges free and open source applications.
The Microsoft Office suite takes up a lot of memory, both in hard drive space and in RAM. The full and complete package of Office costs more than some people’s mortgage payments. Fortunately, Office is not the only option available to get the work done. Here are some free and open source alternatives to Microsoft Office.
LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux developed by The Document Foundation. It gives you feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.
Forked from OpenOffice.org in 2010, it is designed to be compatible with other major office suites, including Microsoft Office. File compatibility with MS Office remains solid and overall it’s a pleasure to use. It is the default office suite in many Linux distributions. Support and documentation is freely provided by a large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers.
The latest version of LibreOffice is 5.1.3.
2) Apache OpenOffice
Apache OpenOffice is an open-source office productivity software suite containing word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, formula editor, and database management applications. It was formerly known as OpenOffice.org under Sun, then Oracle ownership.
Apache OpenOffice’s default file format is the OpenDocument Format (ODF), a ISO/IEC standard. It can also handle other file formats including those from Microsoft Office like .doc, .docx and .rtf. OpenOffice is released on Windows, Solaris, Linux and Macintosh operation systems. OpenOffice is localized, supporting over 110 languages worldwide.
OpenOffice.org was donated to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) on June 1, 2011. As with any code base for consideration to the ASF, OpenOffice.org underwent a proposal and voting process before being accepted into Apache Incubator. It is distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License and Apache License open source licenses.
The latest version of Apache OpenOffice is 4.1.2.
3) Calligra Suite
Calligra Suite is a graphic art and office suite by KDE created from KOffice in 2010. It is available for desktop PCs, tablet computers, and smartphones. It contains applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, databases, vector graphics, and digital painting.
Calligra uses the OpenDocument format as its default file format for most applications and can import other formats, such as Microsoft Office formats. Calligra relies on KDE technology and is often used in combination with KDE Plasma Workspaces.
Calligra Suite heavily relies on Qt and therefore can be ported to any platform compatible to Qt with relative ease.
The latest version of Calligra Suite is 2.8.6.
4) Gnome Office
GOffice (or Gnome Office) is a collection of GNOME/Gtk applications that are useful in an office enviroment. It consists of Abiword for word processing, Gnumeric for spreadsheets, Gnome-DB for database management, Ease for presentations, Evince for document viewing, Evolution for email & calender and Inkscape for vector graphics.
GOffice is geared with lightweight applications and is more commonly included in distros with lighter desktop environments like Xfce, Lxde and Enlightenment.
Most of its applications are cross-platform and run on a variety of operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, ReactOS, Solaris and others.
5) WPS Office (Bonus)
WPS Office (previously known as Kingsoft Office) is an office suite for Microsoft Windows, Linux, iOS and Android OS, developed by Zhuhai-based Chinese software developer Kingsoft. WPS Office is a suite of software which is made up of three primary components: WPS Writer, WPS Presentation, and WPS Spreadsheet. The personal basic version is free to use, but a watermark is printed on all printed output after the 30 day trial ends. A fully featured professional-grade version is also available for a subscription fee.
Since WPS Office 2005, the user interface is very much similar to that of the Microsoft Office products, and the software supports its documents besides its own native format. The native file extension used by WPS Writer is *.wps. This extension was also used by Microsoft Works. The format is similar to a Microsoft Word document (.DOC or. DOCX file) and supports formatted text, images, and advanced page formatting. Kingsoft Writer documents can be converted to Microsoft Word *.doc files in the software.
The latest version of the software is WPS Office 10.