Hardware & Software

Do You Use Microsoft Office, Google Docs or LibreOffice?

January 12, 2015

Guest Author

Am I correct in assuming the majority of readers grew up with the likes of Microsoft Word? I thought so.

Perhaps it is time for Microsoft to make a few adjustments with the Office suite when alternatives such as Google Docs and LibreOffice offer similar software for absolutely free.

You were great in your prime Microsoft Office

My generation relied on Microsoft. We watched Windows 98 evolve into the much anticipated XP, then Windows 7 storm the scene after Vista and now await the arrival of Windows 10. Which I hope is not a regurgitated version of Windows 8 with a few eerily similar upgrades that resemble open source project features. But that’s beside the point.

Similar to the drastic fall of Internet Explorer (yes it’s fading into the background), Microsoft Office programs face stiff competition from free competitors.

Office 365 subscription is not free

You may say, “What about Office 365?”. Microsoft did migrate their product to the cloud. Despite apparent success with Office 365, access still comes with a price tag.

Google released Google Drive and Docs long before with free access. There will always be and continue to be companies that use Office 365 or even the native programs, but how much longer will they use these programs with fees? Why waste the money when Google offers a free high-quality product?

If you don’t approve of Google products due to their use of data for advertising, then use the open source program LibreOffice.

To pay or not to pay

The open source versus closed source battle has waged on for a long time. One thing is certain. Open source projects and products continue to win battles and gain ground. In this past year, Windows finally recognized the prevalence and importance of open source contributions.

LibreOffice, an open source office suite, continues to evolve. Even if you are adverse to office programs in a web browser, LibreOfice offers a free high-quality alternative. In this past year, Windows finally recognized the prevalence and importance of open source contributions.

Does this mean they will continue to charge for Office programs? They will continue to place a premium on Office access for the same reason AOL continues to sell dial-up connection to 2.3 million subscribers. People stick with what is convenient, familiar and available. Why did we all grow up with Microsoft products? Our parents used them at work and teachers at school.

Until the average person becomes more aware of the open source world and free technology available, Microsoft Office will stay strong.

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