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Mac LibreOffice 3

With all the attention Smartphones and social media companies get, I don’t get around to reflecting on one of the biggest battles in the digital age. Office Suites.

One of the biggest factors in people making a decision around what operating system to use has been the compatibility of their documents. Microsoft has been the industry leader for decades with their Microsoft Office Suite. Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint. Hence, everyone got Windows XP. Well, they got ’98, then ME, and they sucked so badly, people breathed a collective sigh of relief at the mediocre XP. One of the biggest concerns out there is the future compatibility of our documents and being able to open them 10 years from now. 100 years from now.

Do we trust a private company that sells us their latest version of an office suite to keep our documents alive? Do we have access to the code of the application so we can make documents compatible far in the future? With companies like Microsoft and Apple, the answer is an outstanding NO! Microsoft has stopped supporting some of their document formats from only 10 years ago! Apple has dropped their support for Appleworks.

One of the things that I never used much on my computers has been Microsoft Office. I simply couldn’t afford it! When I switched over to Apple in the mid 2000’s, I gave up on relying on Microsoft to provide affordable Office software with their OS.
Apple touted itself as having AppleWorks. I lived with that until the OpenOffice movement took place!

Since then, there has been a quiet war waging on document compatibility and being able to work on documents across all operating systems and platforms. Google Docs led the way.

I still prefer a desktop Office solution, and have kept up with the OpenOffice/Libreoffice split. The Linux community has essentially picked sides, and Ubuntu now comes stock with LibreOffice, as does my OS PinguyOS.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of LibreOffice, and the continuation of a community movement towards an open document standard!

Join the movement and download LibreOffice! It’s available on Windows, OSX, and various Linux Distros. Here is a small blurb on the story behind The Document Foundation

Today marks the one-year anniversary of The Document Foundation (TDF) and the LibreOffice project, a promising community-driven fork of OpenOffice.org (OOo). The project has seen considerable growth during its first year of existence. TDF estimates that there are now 25 million LibreOffice users worldwide.
TDF and LibreOffice were originally founded in response to the long-standing governance problems that have historically afflicted OOo. Under Sun’s leadership, bureaucratic barriers and concerns about the project’s copyright assignment policy impeded participation in OOo development. Friction between Sun, independent community members, and other corporate contributors created an unhealthy environment for collaboration. The problems only worsened after Oracle’s acquisition of Sun.

via A year after the fork: LibreOffice is growing and going strong.