Skip to main content Vs Microsoft Office

According to Washington Post, OpenOffice, a free open-source competitor to Microsoft Office, can do just about anything that Microsoft Office can at home, and can also read and write to Microsoft's closed, proprietary formats. You can set OpenOffice to use either OpenDocument or Microsoft formats as its default. And yet, OpenOffice is free and Microsoft is not.

For many home users - people who spend most of their time writing letters in Word and putting together the occasional simple spreadsheet, but don't want to risk not being able to read the documents people send in e-mail - that's all they need.

Unlike Microsoft Office, however, OpenOffice can also save your work as a Portable Document Format file that preserves every pixel of your creativity -- whether it's read in Windows, on a Mac or even on a handheld organizer.

But if you need to run Outlook or you regularly work on complicated Excel or PowerPoint files with other people, OpenOffice may not work for you -- at least for now. OpenOffice isn't always as accurate at saving files in Microsoft formats, especially as they get more complicated.

After years of ignoring complaints about the overgrown nature of Office's interface, Microsoft is giving its own suite a radical rewrite for next year's revision. OpenOffice could look old a year from now.

Read: Office Suite Software Without the Sticker Shock