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Comparison chart: Office suites

Originally Published:
Feb 2018

The modern office suite is a major productivity driver for many enterprises—so the suite your company chooses could have a huge impact on how effective your workers can be. This at-a-glance chart offers a comparison of seven leading contenders based on numerous features and options.

More about choosing an office suite:

Microsoft Office is not the behemoth it once was. While it retains a great deal of support in enterprises where it has been entrenched for decades, startups and small businesses are comparing the features of other office suites to find a solution that fits their needs and budgets.

LibreOffice: The premier open source office suite
For a decade, OpenOffice.org was the default choice for users and organizations in need of a free office suite. While Sun Microsystems was at best a halfhearted steward of the platform, developer discomfort following Oracle's acquisition of Sun led to the creation of the LibreOffice fork. As a result, contributing developers and major Linux distributions abandoned development and packaging of OpenOffice in favor of the new fork. Shortly thereafter, Oracle fired the remaining developers and transferred trademark ownership to the Apache Foundation.

Because of this schism, and the resulting shift in development, LibreOffice is the new standard for open source office suites. For comparison, the current 4.1.x branch of Apache OpenOffice is effectively a series of bug fixes and security patches applied to what is effectively version 4.1 of LibreOffice--a release that dates back to July 2013. While maintenance releases continue, public discussion of formally discontinuing OpenOffice began in September 2016. Since then, LibreOffice has made strides in file format compatibility with iWork and legacy office suites, such as AppleWorks and ClarisWorks, along with developing a web-based interface and hundreds of other new features.

Read more here.

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