First of all, it's a top free office suite on the internet today that provide much of the features needed to get things started. Why spend money buying Microsoft Office when you don’t really use often? Retail version only allow installed 1 PC and doesn’t get other access to their Cloud features service. Mind you, this applied to their latest collaboration (version 2016) feature for businesses. Your only choice is purchase subscription plan. Of course, it may sound like you save money in a long term. Again, ask yourself, do you really needed this Cloud features using at home? Not unless you work at home often.
It just a shame that not many local users knows about LibreOffice. Reason is simple, Microsoft is dominated the market in Brunei. You can say 99.9% of the schools, public, private sector, oil and gas industries and even Government sector uses Microsoft Office. This is why almost everyone here overlook free office suite.
I will cut short talking about LibreOffice history. All you need to know this is an overhaul version from OpenOffice code base. No fancy ribbon menu or whatsoever you going to find. It still onto friendly and clean classic menu style. The reason is simple, they want to make sure the users able to easily access the most use features in LibreOffice.
There are doubt and controversial about today document formats issue but so far I hardly encounter the problem myself working with Word and Excel documents between my office desktop and own laptop on site from the DropBox. The Document Foundation teams (and volunteers) have done remarkably by providing monthly update release that bring bug fixes and improvements. You can say working with Microsoft document formats slowly becoming less headache. In case you wonder, LibreOffice does have feature working remote files directly in Google Drive, One Drive etc.
As always, it is recommended to save a copy of OpenDocument Format (ODF) before creating different format. You don’t have to worry about Microsoft Office playing tricks not supporting the format. They have to but not in a good way and basically not LibreOffice issue. Why? As you may not know, LibreOffice actually has being seen various mass deployment by the companies, schools and Governments worldwide. Taiwan was the latest country migrating to ODF/LibreOffice last year. Can you imagine how pissed and unhappy Microsoft nowadays? You can check out the ‘Migrating Libreoffice in Taiwan’ story by Franklin Weng to understand better.
I do not know if our Government follows the news or even interested adopting free and open source software into their office. But I think its important they start looking as it can pave way for future cost cutting solutions. Same goes for the private schools communities if they planned to tighten up their budget saving yearly. More importantly, another way helping low income parents to save money without needing to buy Microsoft Office for their children to do homework or projects. LibreOffice features already provide sufficient needs.
While I do admit LibreOffice has long way to go and limitation on its own comparing with Microsoft Office 2016. Microsoft continue stand strong selling to companies especially their latest Cloud and collaboration features. You won’t find the features in LibreOffice. Good news is, they are going to bring it this year. With the support from the Government around the world moving towards LibreOffice. This definitely going to be huge threat to Microsoft, which means more competition and option to offer. So I suggest everyone should start installed and learn LibreOffice. Who knows one day you will be working in some company or Government sectors using LibreOffice where Microsoft Office is not available.