Is There Really That Big a Difference?
OpenOffice and Microsoft Office are the two biggest players in the office productivity market today. OpenOffice is built and maintained by Sun Microsystems and the other, as the name implies, is made by Microsoft.
The main difference between the two is the philosophy. Open Office is free of charge, and open source. Sun and the OpenOffice community have built and maintained their software for the good of computer users, much like the development of Linux.
OpenOffice is currently the only office package that complies with the International Organization for Standardization. This guarantees it will play nicely with others, and will read other file formats, and allow other file formats to read it. For companies that use a diversity of packages, this can be important.
Microsoft on the other hand is completely commercial. The software is created and maintained for money. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it can make a lot of difference to a consumer, or even a business. There is a significant cost involved in using commercial software.
Office Home and Student 2010 has a suggested retail price of $149.99, Office Home and Business 2010 a price tag of $279.99, and the Microsoft Office 2010 flagship edition Office Professional 2010 costs $499.99 at Microsoft's online store . That cost is for a single user, and while multiple users won’t pay full price, it is still going to be a significant investment.
On the surface, the two packages look quite similar. OpenOffice is a simpler, less cluttered program, but it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of MS Office. Also, the ribbon of the latest MS Office is a very good control panel that makes using the software very easy.
They each have versions of the same kind of applications:
Word in Office is Writer in OpenOffice.
Excel in Office is Calc in OpenOffice.
PowerPoint in Office is Impress in OpenOffice.
Access in Office is Base in OpenOffice.
As you can see in the MS Office editions comparison table , the database program MS Access is not included in the Office Home and Student edition.