Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open source strikes at M$ Office

Filed under
Software
OSS

Microsoft Office faces stiffer competition from the open-source world following major releases of Office competitors for the Mac OS X, Unix and Linux platforms this week.

Open-source developers hope to give the software giant a run for its money in the enterprise by delivering productivity suites that cost less, work with Office formats as well as open-standards formats, and include commercial support options. The software appearing on the scene this week meets some or all of these conditions.

On the Mac platform, is the first stable release of NeoOffice/J, a native OS X implementation of the OpenOffice.org productivity suite, which is in turn based on Sun's StarOffice. OpenOffice is available for the Mac, but it requires users to install the X11 graphical software, doesn't use an Aqua interface, doesn't have native printing support and doesn't use a standard installer.

NeoOffice/J fixes these problems and is covered by the open-source GNU General Public Licence (GPL), allowing users to make changes and distribute their own variants. NeoOffice is compatible with most Microsoft Office formats, according to developers, but doesn't have an enterprise support option.

Also this week, South Korea-based Haansoft said it will ship a Mac OS X version of ThinkFree Office 3.0 shortly after the Windows version appears in July. Haansoft claims to have improved support Microsoft document formats with version 3.0. The company offers technical support (albeit by Web or e-mail) and ThinkFree is likely to cost far less than Microsoft Office - current versions sell for about £49.99.

Further options will be opened up to Mac users once the platform shifts to Intel processors, with CodeWeavers' announcement this week that it will support Intel-based Macs. CodeWeavers makes CrossOver Office, an implementation of WINE that allows Unix and Linux operating systems to run Windows applications such as Microsoft Office; the software may allow Macs to run the Windows version of OpenOffice, for example.

Mac OS X is based on BSD Unix, but its use of IBM's PowerPC processors has made it difficult for developers to transfer Unix and Linux applications to the platform.

The NeoOffice/J and ThinkFree releases are designed to improve compatibility with Microsoft's own document formats, but the release of KOffice 1.4 on Tuesday is a sign of things to come, with its support for the OASIS standard OpenDocument 1.0. Developers say KOffice is the first to fully implement OpenDocument, which was adopted by Oasis in late May.

OpenDocument will also be supported with OpenOffice 2.0, and it is likely that support in NeoOffice/J and other applications will not be far behind. OpenDocument is an XML-based format intended to present a standards-based challenge to Microsoft's dominant, proprietary Office formats. It supports text, spreadsheet and presentation documents; Novell, Sun, IBM and others have pledged to support it in their productivity software.

KOffice 1.4, released for Linux and Unix, will continue to use the native KOffice format while OpenDocument goes through testing. The next KOffice release will use OpenDocument as its native format, developers said.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Gaming News: SHOGUN, Reus, Two Worlds and More

Security Leftovers: WCry/Ransomwar, WannaCry, Athena

OSS Leftovers

  • Nextcloud 12 Officially Released, Adds New Architecture for Massive Scalability
    Nextcloud informs Softpedia today about the official availability of the final release of Nextcloud 12, a major milestone of the self-hosting cloud server technology that introduces numerous new features and improvements. The biggest new feature of the Nextcloud 12 release appears to be the introduction of a new architecture for massive scalability, called Global Scale, which is a next-generation open-source technology for syncing and sharing files. Global Scale increases scalability from tens of thousands of users to hundreds of millions on a single instance, while helping universities and other institutions significantly reduce the costs of their existing large installations.
  • ReactOS 0.4.5 Open-Source Windows-Compatible OS Launches with Many Improvements
    ReactOS 0.4.5 is a maintenance update that adds numerous changes and improvements over the previous point release. The kernel has been updated in this version to improve the FreeLoader and UEFI booting, as well as the Plug and Play modules, adding support for more computers to boot ReactOS without issues.
  • Sprint Debuts Open Source NFV/SDN Platform Developed with Intel Labs
    AT&T has been the headliner in the carrier race to software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). But Sprint is putting its own stamp on the space this week with its debut of a new open source SDN/NFV mobile core solution.
  • Google’s New Home for All Things Open Source Runs Deep
    Google is not only one of the biggest contributors to the open source community but also has a strong track record of delivering open source tools and platforms that give birth to robust technology ecosystems. Just witness the momentum that Android and Kubernetes now have. Recently, Google launched a new home for its open source projects, processes, and initiatives. The site runs deep and has several avenues worth investigating. Here is a tour and some highlights worth noting.
  • Making your first open source contribution
  • Simplify expense reports with Smart Receipts
    The app is called Smart Receipts, it's licensed AGPL 3.0, and the source code is available on GitHub for Android and iOS.
  • How the TensorFlow team handles open source support
    Open-sourcing is more than throwing code over the wall and hoping somebody uses it. I knew this in theory, but being part of the TensorFlow team at Google has opened my eyes to how many different elements you need to build a community around a piece of software.
  • IRC for the 21st Century: Introducing Riot
    Internet relay chat (IRC) is one of the oldest chat protocols around and still popular in many open source communities. IRC's best strengths are as a decentralized and open communication method, making it easy for anyone to participate by running a network of their own. There are also a variety of clients and bots available for IRC.