Difference between Microsoft Office and Libreoffice

Key Difference: Microsoft Office is a proprietary office suite by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X operating systems . It comprises desktop applications, servers and various services. On the other hand, Libreoffice is also an office suite, but it is developed by the Document Foundation. It is a free and open source suite. Microsoft Office and Libreoffice are similar in the basic functionality, but at the same time they differ in many of the features.

Microsoft Office is an office suite by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X operating systems. It comprises desktop applications, servers and various services. It was introduced in 1990. Most importantly, it includes Word, Access, Excel and PowerPoint applications. Its other desktop applications include Microsoft Access, Microsoft InfoPath, Microsoft Project, etc. Numerous versions of this office suite have been released. It also has a version customized to be used by Android phones, iPhones and Windows phones. Its server applications include Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Lync Server. In context to web services, it offers Office Web Apps, Microsoft Update, etc.

Libreoffice is also an office suite, but it is developed by the Document Foundation. It is a free and open source office suite. It has been developed on the soure code of Microsoft Office 2010, but has been independently developed. It consists of many tools to meet the demands for a word processor to an equation editor. The word processor of this suite is known as LibreOffice Writer. The suite can be easily downloaded from the official website of LibreOffice. To use this software, one needs to have Java Runtime Environment as a prerequisite. LibreOffice 4.1 is already in the market as the current version, and its 4.2 version release has been scheduled for Feb 2014.

Both the Office suits provide the same type of functionalities, however they still differ from each other in many contexts. Some of the features are present in Microsoft Office which are absent in LibreOffice and vice-versa. The biggest advantage of using Libreoffice is that it is free, and therefore one can easily test and use it. On the other hand, many believe that the quality of Microsoft Office is still better than that of the LibreOffice.

Comparison between Microsoft Office and Libreoffice (Based on the recent version):

 

           Microsoft Office        

LibreOffice

Definition

Microsoft Office is a proprietary office suite for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X operating systems by Microsoft. It comprises desktop applications, servers and various services.

Libreoffice is also an office suite, but it is developed by the Document Foundation. It is a free and open source suite. 

Initial Release

August 1, 1989

25 January 2011

License

Proprietary commercial software

LGPL public license

Cross platform availability

Windows, Mac OS X, *Linux

(*Microsoft Office can be installed on Linux by using products like Wine and Cross Over)

Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and FreeBSD

Word Processor

Word (Supports diagonal borders in tables, extending reading mode of document, picture styles and additional effects)

Writer (Supports overlining of text, master documents for longer texts)

Spreadsheet

Excel (Supports Interactive diagrams/ Pivot chart, Import access databases and export generic XML)

Calc (Supports comparison to two spreadsheet files, hyphenation in cells and page styles)

Presentation Software

Powerpoint (powerful piece of software)

Impress (Missing the animated diagrams and lacks the ability to collaborate on presentations as a group)

Database Software

Access (only available for Windows)

Base (available for Windows, Mac, and Linux)

Localisation

96 languages

113 languages

Additional writing aids

Extended Support

Limited

Macro scripting languages

Single language

Multiple languages

Creation of HybridPDFs, Import of graphic formats, Import of MS Visio files

Not Supported

Supported

User Interface approach

Ribbon UI

Classic UI

Image Courtesy: worldlabel.com, wikipedia.org

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Comments

i just wanted to know the major difference but it shows something else .not satisfied

One small correction: The columns in the table on "Cross platform availability" are switched. LibreOffice is available on Linux and FreeBSD, but MS Office not.

Thanks Run for taking an interest in this article. It is true that on its own Microsoft Office can not be installed on Linux or Linux types of operating systems. However, one can use products like Wine and CrossOver to install Microsoft Office on Linux. However, is is recommended to use Wine for older versions of Office.

Thanks for the great comparison. I would like to add something on the history of LibreOffice. LibreOffice is a very mature product, since its roots date back to the mid 1990s. At that time, there was a German company called StarDivision who developed office software since the 1980s. In 1995 (if I recall the time right) they released StarOffice for Windows. Later StarDivision was acquired by Sun and StarOffice became the open-sourced OpenOffice.org. After Oracle took over Sun in 2010, LibreOffice was created on top of the former OpenOffice.org. Since that time, LibreOffice became a very vibrant developer community, improving an incredible amount of things in LibreOffice.

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