free office for linux running MS Office

What’s Open Office?

It’s an Open Source product with comparable features to Microsoft Office.

Open free office for linux is usually pre-installed on Linux, but Open Office org also has MS Windows installation files. Below is a list of the applications included in both productivity suites.

Open Office Microsoft

Writer Word

Calc/Base Excel

Impress Powerpoint

Open Office has a lot of the same features, but Open Office is slower in terms of performance. Open Office was slow to start and run for many users. Version 2.4 seems to have fixed these problems.

Open Office currently does not offer Visio-like capabilities, but Open Source products like Dia provide limited diagramming tools. KOffice, an Open Source product, comes with Kivio, a similar Visio-like application. However, the templates included in the base program are very limited. Kivio templates are available from a number of companies that allow users to create Visio-like diagrams at significantly less cost than purchasing a complete Microsoft Office package.

Microsoft’s crown jewel is Office. Microsoft’s proprietary productivity suite has provided huge revenue for the company, which has allowed them to diversify into other technology areas. Take into account the tight integration between Microsoft Windows and Office. Microsoft Office has been optimized for Microsoft platforms by integrating with products like Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Given the above points, why would anyone attempt to install Office on any other platform than Windows? Simple. You have freedom of choice. Open Office is available on a wide range of OSes including Windows. KOffice is currently working to port their application to Windows. For some users, only Office will suffice. They aren’t prepared to spend the money to purchase Windows to run MS Office. How can Office run on Linux?

Wine is an Open Source compatibility layer that allows Windows applications to run on Linux/UNIX. Wine is not an emulator. The software Wine implements compatibility layers that provide alternative implementations to the DLLs needed by Windows programs. Wine is a project that focuses primarily on 32-bit applications. It will not run 64-bit apps. Microsoft’s validation of the installation of Wine applications is another issue. WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage), if it detects Microsoft apps that are running on Wine, it will block genuine updates, downloads, and security patches.

It is up to the user to choose which office productivity suites they prefer. Users may not always have the option to choose. Consider UMPC hardware, such as the Eee PC. Although the current CPU is not enough to run Microsoft Vista or Office, it IS ideal for Linux/Open Office installations.

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