Tech-savvy programmers are not always focused on the interface or user experience. However, because open-source code is available to all, Open Office and Libre Office are not solely dependent on their current crop of developers and corporate sponsors.
Also, by virtue of being the largest software provider in this space, there are hundreds of Microsoft Office suite experts who can help troubleshoot issues and offer tips for power users.
The mandates for open-source applications also tend to be fuzzy.
The open-source options also include "Base," a database similar to Microsoft Access; a tool called "Draw" that's similar to Microsoft Visio; a chart-creation module called "Charts"; and an equation editor called "Math." Although some desktop versions of Microsoft Office don't include the desktop-publishing application Publisher, all now offer One Note, a note-taking and sharing tool. Neither of the open-source alternatives provides an email or calendaring tool or an analogue for One Note.
For the purposes of this article, we'll focus on word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools.
How do open-source productivity suites compare to Office 2016 — and does it make sense for your organization to choose free, community-based software rather than the commercially licensed offering from Microsoft?