Everyone loves a bargain. Cost is important to everyone, and keeping costs low is an essential part of personal and business life. Use of open source products, specifically software products, can keep start-up and everyday operating costs low. The open source community is on the cutting edge of developing technology, and becoming familiar with these products is both easy and helps to maintain an edge in business. The availability of many business products developed for universal access is growing.
It used to be that Microsoft Office™ was the gold standard and licensing this product was considered an essential cost of doing business. Today, open source pioneers have created useful alternatives that provide all the functionality of MS products for no cost. Apache OpenOffice (multi-platform), NeoOffice (Mac), and LibreOffice (multi-platform) are different branches of project alternatives designed to compete with Microsoft.
While Microsoft’s document formats (documents as .docx and spreadsheets as .xlsx) are still considered by most to be the default format, LibreOffice is compatible with them. Documents can be saved in these formats or in the open source format (documents as .odt and spreadsheets as .ods). Database and presentation software, as well as vector graphics and mathematics editors complete the suite. Open source office suites can easily replace MS products both at home and in a business environment. Though these products were originally designed for the Linux operating system, they now are commonly used on both the Windows and Mac platforms. LibreOffice has a beta-version of an Android platform reader, developed by Collabora, downloadable from Google play or from the F-droid website.
These programs are quick and easy, familiar to anyone who knows Office, and in addition to keeping costs low, the use of this kind of product, in addition to well-known open source programs like the Firefox browser, by Mozilla, is one way to keep your fingers to the beating pulse of developing technology in the twenty-first century.