LibreOffice is a free and open-source alternative to the famous Microsoft Office suites. It comes preinstalled with almost every Linux distribution on the planet. Similar to Microsoft Office, it includes all the tools needed to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations for both personal and professional use.
The complete package of LibreOffice comes in over 120+ languages and has extensive support for third-party add-ons. However, they’re not at the level of what an average user might expects from Microsoft Office’s premium add-on collection.
LibreOffice is a cross-platform software, meaning you can run it on any operating system. The official releases support Windows, Mac, and Linux OS, but there are other community versions of LibreOffice builds available that support even more operating systems.
The History Of LibreOffice
The history of LibreOffice is quite interesting. It all started in 1985 with the release of the first version of Star Writer by Marco Borries (a German IT entrepreneur). Back then, Star Writer was a proprietary piece of software, which Mr. Borries used to write his high school final thesis.
Later, Sun Microsystems bought the Star Division (the company under which Mr. Borries produced the software) for $73.5 million, changed its name to Open Office, and released all of its code to the public as open-sourced. People were amazed at how a piece of software like this was made open-sourced so they could download and use the entire office suite for free without any cost.
For the first 10 years after the acquisition by Sun Microsystems, the development of Open Office was led under the Sun leadership. In 2019, when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, the entire Open-Office project was forked, and it was named LibreOffice in 2010. Finally, Oracle lost its faith in Open-Office and decided to stop developing the project further and handed it off to the Apache Foundation.
Despite being handed over to the Apache Foundation, the project managed to retain 95% of its original developers who had previously worked on it under Oracle leadership. Since then, both OpenOffice and LibreOffice have continued to evolve, improve, and thrive as the popular free alternatives to the industry leader, Microsoft Office, in the market of office productivity suites.