Office Software: Libre vs Open vs Google vs MS vs



One of our posters asked about a free alternative to MS PowerPoint, and he selected OpenOffice (OO) as a great alternative.

I’ve used OO for years, and only recently used the new Libre Office. Looks and feels exactly the same. Of course.

Does someone have the good-skinny about Oracle’s staking claim to OpenOffice but apparently LibreOffice’s developers are all OO vets, and both claim good futures ahead. Any prognostications?

Is Oracle’s Apache OpenOffice going to focus on Cloud and thus do battle with MS LIVE and Google Docs?

Is LibreOffice going to be our last standalone product that doesn’t require constant subscriber fees or living in a coffeeshop? (Er, “always connected”.)

I use GoogleDocs only because of their calendaring system, and that’s been a long-time and ideal application for me. I don’t like the ability to enlarge a spreadsheet past the point of “Too Large To Save”, however. Do that twice, and NEVER AGAIN. Grrr. And off-line is so much faster anyway.

I live with word processors, spreadsheets, drawing and photo-editors. I’m sensitive about losing familiar and easy services from those products, so if anyone’s ear is close to the ground and can give me forewarning, I’ll warm up ye olde vats of oil to welcome Balmer and Larry Ellison, next time they visit.

“Oh sure, Hubby’s downstairs… walk this way…”

If only I could get Marty Feldman for that one moment-! Life would be sooo sweet.


I doubt LibreOffice would go that way. Maybe it once will support to store it on a cloud service but I don’t think it would ever become obligatory.

I just wonder how well OO compares with Office, especially the new versions. I think they have more competition than ever as now Google Docs and OO are competing with Microsoft Office.

But I wonder it’s real competition. Every time I’ve installed OO or LibreOffice it just feels so unfinished and outdated that I happily return to MS. I’d rather go with an opensource variant but not convinced yet…


Rex, I have two specific uses for OpenO and Libre - they include a PRINT TO PDF utility that’s pretty terrific (“perfect?” dunno - no one’s had a problem with any of those created PDFs so far).

And when I save files in the OO or LO native formats, they’re TINY compared to MS Office’s same files, so attachments are much smaller.

I’ve got Australians and NZers who live in choked-off rural or earthquake damaged areas, still sometimes on dial-up but also on some kind of data-limit plan (grrr), and sending a 23k file instead of a 230k spreadsheet is so important to them. And yes, I mailed them DVDs of program-files for OO and LO because we knew such large downloads would wipe out their monthly alotments and would take weeks, perhaps. The disks arrived eight days after posting, so that was much quicker!

I also spent time learning how to customize the OO and LO toolbars to mimic my MS Office ones, and their customization is a bit more confusing, but offers more selections. Learning to customize my toolbars made those products feel ‘more like home’ for me.