Open office dilemma: OpenOffice.org vs. LibreOffice

Dueling open source alternatives to Microsoft Office match word processors, spreadsheets, and much more; which one should you choose?

By Neil McAllister, InfoWorld |  Software, LibreOffice, OpenOffice.org

Perhaps the most significant new feature found in LibreOffice is support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files in Writer, Impress, and Draw. SVG is an open standard for vector-based graphics that can be exported from many popular drawing applications, including Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Visio, and many CAD programs.

There's a check box in LibreOffice's options to enable "experimental features." Oddly enough, even with this checked, several new improvements mentioned on the LibreOffice website don't show up in the Windows version. The site mentions that LibreOffice can save OpenDocument files as "flat XML" to make it easier to manipulate the documents using XSLT transforms, but that option doesn't appear in the Save As dialog box on Windows. Also, certain new UI elements, such as radio boxes next to complex menu items, don't appear in the Windows version of the suite. It seems most of the new development for LibreOffice is being done on Linux, with Windows as only a secondary platform.

Which open source office suite is for you? Ultimately, for many customers the decision to use either suite will depend on the extent to which they are wedded to Microsoft Office file formats. Customers who maintain a large number of complex Office documents may find a wholesale migration unworkable. Otherwise, the choice between OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice weighs largely on two factors: support and future development.

LibreOffice can handle Scalable Vector Graphics images in Writer, Impress, and Draw. 

For enterprises with ironclad support requirements, OpenOffice.org may be the only option for now. Oracle offers an edition of the suite tailored for individuals and small businesses that includes commercial support for $49.95 per head. For $90 per head, an enterprise edition is available that covers additional migration, as well as configuration tools and connectors for Microsoft SharePoint and the Alfresco content management system. The enterprise edition requires a minimum purchase of 100 licenses, so it will cost you $9,000 to get in the door.

The Document Foundation, on the other hand, is more a loosely knit development organization than a software vendor. It does not market any commercial version of the LibreOffice suite, nor does it offer any support contracts. Doubtless, third parties will step in to provide support for the suite, and perhaps some already do, but there are no links to support providers on the LibreOffice website. At this early stage of the project, support is largely limited to mailing lists, IRC channels, FAQs, and online documentation.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

SoftwareWhite Papers & Webcasts

See more White Papers | Webcasts

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question
randomness