Google Docs and Office Web apps have gone a long way towards offering a compelling solution for storing our documents online, but for those in need of offline access, Open Office used to be the best free alterative to Microsoft around. Fast forward to 2012 however, and Open Office hasn’t just fallen off the map, it has been lapped several times by a new community fork called LibreOffice.
There have been concerns over the future of Sun's open source projects ever since it was acquired by Oracle. But developers of the world's most popular open source productivity suite, Open Office, have decided to take their destiny in their own hands by breaking away to launch the Document Foundation. A productivity suite called "LibreOffice" is now available through the foundation's website.
The Document Foundation has chosen the name LibreOffice, as the trademark "Open Office" is currently owned by Oracle. However, the developers are hoping that “Oracle will donate this to to the Foundation, along with the other assets it holds in trust for the Community, in due course, once legal etc issues are resolved.”
The open source movement might just be on to something with Open Office 4 Kids (OOo4Kids), a productivity suite aimed at the much younger crowd between the ages of 7 and 12. And if DownloadSquad.com has anything to say about it, adults may prefer it to the regular version of Open Office as well.
According to the project's wiki, OOo4Kids is based on OpenOffice.org source code, but because certain aspects have been stripped out, it loads noticeably faster than the full fledged suite. There's a lot less going on in the UI, and larger buttons point out all the obvious features. But aside from the splash screen, it doesn't look overly childish, so we could also see this being installed on Aunt Angie's machine.
As expected, there are some features that are missing, such as Base, and power users won't be content with al the advanced controls, but in our limited test run, we were fairly impressed with OOo4Kids. There's still a lot you can do with it, the interface isn't condescending, and it's fast.
If you want to check it out for yourself, you can download the latest version (0.5) here.
Welcome to Monday! In honor of the start of the work week, we're going to take a look at some of the top open-source and freeware office applications. We're not just talking about suites, though. Like our previous three features, we're going to run through programs that cover a wide range of activities you might encounter during a typical, nine-to-five day. Hey, maybe you'll even be able to convince your friendly IT person of choice to install these finds across a batch of computers! You'll be a hero! You'll save your company millions in licensing fees! Promotions will be thrown at your cubicle like butter on bread!
Open-source and freeware applications are just that exciting. But don't take our word for it. Check out the full list of applications after the jump!