Word processing and similar productivity software has been a staple on computers since the 1980’s. The core file types created in in Office productivity include Word processing, spreadsheats, databases, presentation,and email software. Over the years the popular suite has changed several times. Popular Software running in this space included Wordstar, WordPerfect, Quarto Pro, MS Office, and Corel. In my opinion the competition over this space has been conducted and the expense of many loyal customers. Google and MicroSoft Office have each made changed aimed ate getting deeper into our pocketbooks. Each has cancelled options that left many of us out in the cold. The good news is that all these changes has opened the door for great free options to take over the market. So, the world of office productivity could be more ripe than ever for a major shift towards open source freeware. However in the end we will decide what market share each of the big players get. The point here is that you have lots of choices and some great free choices on what you do for office productivity. This shift could save you money.
OpenSource Software developers of LibreOffice and OpenOffice have been developing a superior /free capable and compatible office suite for over 12 years. In the last few years it has proven very stable, compatible (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org). This free software creates opens and edits other popular office productivity software including Microsoft Office documents and even freely creates Adobe reader compatible pdf documents. The Opensource developers also also have their own standard document extension (*.odt) LibreOffice is a successor to OpenOffice and seams to be where majority ‘mindshare” of open source program developers went leading the original OpenOffice project to close in 2010. Compared to Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice seams to offer many more updates each year.
Email alternatives to Outlook:
There is one notable item lacking in LibreOffice and that is an email program. For many home users email is not an issue. I find that many own and installed MS Outlook but never bothered to set it up. They choose instead to you webmail, sites like Yahoo, hotmail,(now outlook.com) or Gmail etc to preform their email, calendar and contacts. For those working with email stored on their device the top alternatives to MS Outlook include, Apple Mail, Android Email, and Mozilla Thunderbird. Of those listed only Mozilla Thunderbird offers local archive of your data (email, contacts and calendar. For a long time I was not big on Thunderbird because I feared that it would not reliably sync my calendar and contact to other devices like the cell phone. However there are now several options for doing the sync. This is extra good news at a time when there are so many issues with Google Calendar Sync, iCloud and iTunes Syncing.
Cloud and Evernote Options and issues:
Skydrive, Dropbox, google drive, boxie, sugar Sync. More on this Coming soon.