Hate for Microsoft abounds. How else do you explain all the Microsoft Office wannabe apps? Mac, Windows, Linux. They all have a bunch of apps that try to be Microsoft Office.
For less. Less, as in free. Anyone who tries to giveaway for free what you sell doesn’t have your best interests at heart. My guess is these Office wannabe folks really, really don’t like Microsoft.
Less Is More, Free Is Less
That set off a chain reaction of hate which resulted in Office look-alikes and wannabe suites.
Enter the age of Open Office, Star Office, Neo Office, Libre Office, Oracle Office, ThinkFree Office.
All except the latter are free competitors to Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite. There’s even an Oracle Open Office (derived from previous Office efforts from Sun, recently swallowed by Oracle). There may be more. But I’m tired of counting.
Free? How will poor, lonely, misunderstood Microsoft make a living when all the Office competition is lower priced or free?
Liberate Your Office With LibreOffice
As it turns out, Microsoft is doing fine riding along on two cash cows, and most of the free Office-like suites remain free, including the one from The Document Foundation, LibreOffice.
Any review of these Office-like suites could be summed up in a couple basic phrases. They’re free. They look like Office.
LibreOffice Writer looks like a Mac word processor. It’s got a busy toolbar, just like Microsoft Office. It’s loaded with most Office features and comes with everything you expect and nothing you don’t.
Like, you know, innovation. Something different. Something better, other than it’s not quite as good as Microsoft Office and it costs a whole lot less than Office. Ditto for the spreadsheet component, creatively called LibreOffice Calc.
Of course it does. If Fisher Price built a spreadsheet it would look like this. Tools crowded all over the toolbar. All the basic functionality of Excel built in and priced right.
How then, does LibreOffice differ from Microsoft Office? Did I mention that it’s free? How does it differ from all the other free Office look-alike suites? LibreOffice comes with a start up panel and more apps.
Click the start up panel for Text Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation (like PowerPoint), Drawing, Database, Formula, and Templates.
So, there’s more for less. If it were any less they would pay you to use it.
Why use LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office? Three basic reasons. Money, money, money. LibreOffice is cross platform so it runs on Windows PCs, Linux PCs, and Macs. What it doesn’t have that Microsoft has is an Outlook equivalent, but, hey, it’s priced right.
What is notably interesting about The Document Foundation’s version of Office, LibreOffice, is that they don’t say much about how good it is, how compatible it is, how free it is, or why it’s better to use it than Microsoft’s Office.
It’s basically understood that you know what Office is already, and if you want a less expensive version that’s decent, you’ll try LibreOffice to save money. Why bother customers with any other details?
It’s hard to argue with that.