OpenOffice, the Free, Open-Source Microsoft Office Alternative, could be Shut Down

I have written several times about the advantages of OpenOffice and LibreOffice, two free alternatives to Microsoft Office. (See for my most recent article about free replacement programs for Microsoft Office.) Now a volunteer vice president of OpenOffice says OpenOffice could be shut down if more developers can’t be recruited to support the project and keep the software secure. The immediate problem is that, according to Dennis E. Hamilton’s email, the team now consists of only about six core members and they are overwhelmed.

You can read the details in an article by David Z. Morris in the Fortune Magazine web site at

I switched from OpenOffice to LibreOffice a long time ago simply because I like the LibreOffice user interface much more than the rather ancient-looking OpenOffice interface. Given today’s warning by Dennis E. Hamilton, I doubt if the OpenOffice user interface will ever be improved.

If you are looking for a powerful but free replacement for Microsoft Office, I will suggest you first read my article at and then go to the LibreOffice web site at

This article was written in LibreOffice.


If I switch to Libra Office is it easy to convert the Open Office documents?


    —> If I switch to Libra Office is it easy to convert the Open Office documents?

    No conversion is necessary. LibreOffice reads and writes all the same documents that OpenOffice does (including .ODT), as well as most of the files that Microsoft Word can read and write: .DOC, .DOCX, .RTF, TXT, PDF, and HTM or .HTML.


A little history about how open office split into two:

LibreOffice can incorporate OpenOffice’s code, but OpenOffice can’t incorporate LibreOffice’s code. This is the result of the different licenses the projects chose.

In the long run, this means that big improvements to OpenOffice can be incorporated into LibreOffice, while big improvements to LibreOffice can’t be incorporated into OpenOffice. This clearly gives a big advantage to LibreOffice, which will develop quicker and incorporate more features and improvements.


I was not interested in lining the pockets of the rich Pooh-Bahs of Microsoft plus I’m on a fixed income so I went for LibreOffice and I like it. So far it has done what I need to do.


David Paul Davenport September 6, 2016 at 12:15 pm

OpenOffice are NOT totally compatible. I recently prepared a document that included pictures and when I used Libre office at a different FHC none of the pictures had been saved. I don’t know anything about what it takes to “keep the software secure” but suspect that every time it is upgraded (3.01 becomes, 4.01, etc) the opportunity exists for a virus to be introduced into someone’s home computer. It might be naive to think that if it was left unchanged it might remain secure, but that is my thought. BTW – Microsoft is becoming even more proprietary – I was told it is now a cloud-based software that has to be paid for over and over so it would be a real shame if OpenOffice were to cease.


    —> OpenOffice are NOT totally compatible.

    I use LibreOffice. The editor of this newsletter uses OpenOffice. We swap a number of files back and forth every week. So far, we have not found any incompatibilities.


    OpenOffice are NOT totally compatible. I recently prepared a document that included pictures and when I used Libre office at a different FHC none of the pictures had been saved

    It’s most likely that OpenOffice just linked to the pictures rather than importing them. That’s what your description sounds like. Common enough problem, and the document would fail even with the same software and version, if you moved the document to a different computer that didn’t have the images.
    However, if you *did* have a document from OO that failed in LO that wasn’t due to missing link data, I would suggest submitting it to the LibreOffice project so they could see why.
    There shouldn’t be a conversion problem since they are derived from the same codebase, and use the open-standard OpenDocument format (as defined by OASIS and ISO/IEC). Unlike the morass of “MSOffice” formats, which are proprietary, poorly documented (in part intentionally), and often incompatible between releases of MSOffice itself.


Dick, When you first mentioned LibreOffice in a news letter I researched it. Downloaded it and loved it. Hope others will try it!


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