Microsoft Office is definitely the most rated commercial office suite. Its mostly for inter relations between desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft in 1989. Over the years, Microsoft have been instrumental in updating the Office. They have been successful in providing cool new looks and added features on every updates. But there is still a question-mark on whether that is an advantage or a disadvantage. Definitely the first of disadvantages are that its costs money. MS Office is not a freeware. This can become painful for the customer for having to buy the newer version just to read the document that is created in the newer version. Since this gets outdated very quickly, obviously users are not satisfied with that. But is there an alternative to MS Office which can give a solution to the problem that I mentioned above., commonly known as OOo or OpenOffice, is an open-source application suite whose main components are for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and databases. It is available for a number of different computer operating systems, and is distributed as a free software and is written using its own GUI toolkit. It supports the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data interchange as its default file format, as well as Microsoft Office formats among others. As of November 2009, supports over 110 languages.

OpenOffice is downloadable in its full version for free at, OpenOffice provides the ability to open any document created in Microsoft Office applications, or create entirely new documents saved in OpenOffice or Microsoft Office format according to your choice. At this time, Office 2007 documents can be opened, but you can’t save into this format…YET. There is also not a version of Microsoft Outlook available in OpenOffice form. Don’t let the ‘open-source’ part of this concern you. All this means is that it was developed by lots of programmers from all over, rather than completely done in a centralized, big corporation environment. It also means that YOU can participate in bettering the future of OpenOffice!

When you first install OpenOffice, you’ll be given the option to download/install updates automatically. There is never any charge for this – but you can donate to the cause if you want. The website is the only place you’ll see this, and thankfully, there are no pop-ups while using The installation procedure is fairly simple for a normal user. But if there are still any installation issues, its a great thing that there are lots of communities and forums where you can turn to.

OpenOffice can feel a little strange for a new user. Its mostly under-rated because of the fact that its open-source. But, as sson as you get the hang of things, you will understand that OpenOffice is just as easy as anything. The most important point here is that, the updates are all free. So, an OpenOffice user will not be paying any money for update packages, unlike MS Office users.

The choice of office suites are definitely yours. But, it is of no doubt that OpenOffice is the best alternative to Microsoft Office.