Difference Wiki

Microsoft Office vs. Open Office: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 15, 2023
Microsoft Office is a suite of proprietary productivity software including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. OpenOffice is a free, open-source office suite with similar functionality.

Key Differences

Microsoft Office is a commercial product developed by Microsoft, featuring applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. OpenOffice, initially developed by Sun Microsystems, is an open-source office suite offering similar applications like Writer, Calc, Impress, and Base.
The user interface of Microsoft Office is polished and frequently updated, offering a wide range of features and integration with other Microsoft services. OpenOffice has a more traditional interface and provides a basic, user-friendly experience without regular updates.
Microsoft Office requires a purchase or subscription for use, making it a more costly option. In contrast, OpenOffice is completely free, making it accessible to users without the budget for software.
Compatibility with other file formats, especially proprietary ones, is generally better in Microsoft Office. OpenOffice, while capable of opening and saving various formats, might sometimes struggle with complex formatting.
Microsoft Office offers extensive customer support and integration with cloud services like OneDrive. OpenOffice, being open-source, relies more on community support and lacks integrated cloud storage solutions.

Comparison Chart


Commercial, by Microsoft
Open-source, community-driven


Paid subscription or purchase

User Interface

Modern, regularly updated
Traditional, less frequently updated

File Compatibility

High, especially with own formats
Good, but may struggle with formatting

Support and Integration

Extensive support, cloud integration
Limited support, no cloud integration

Microsoft Office and Open Office Definitions

Microsoft Office

Includes applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
He analyzed the data using Microsoft Office Excel.

Open Office

A free, open-source office suite.
OpenOffice is a budget-friendly alternative for document editing.

Microsoft Office

Offers cloud integration and extensive support.
They stored their files on OneDrive using Microsoft Office.

Open Office

Includes applications like Writer, Calc, and Impress.
She prepared her report using OpenOffice Writer.

Microsoft Office

A suite of proprietary productivity software.
She used Microsoft Office to create her presentation.

Open Office

Lacks integrated cloud storage solutions.
He saved his documents locally as OpenOffice doesn't offer cloud storage.

Microsoft Office

Requires a purchase or subscription.
Their company renewed its Microsoft Office subscription annually.

Open Office

Accessible without cost to all users.
They chose OpenOffice due to its free availability.

Microsoft Office

Known for a polished and modern user interface.
Microsoft Office's interface makes document editing easier.

Open Office

Features a more traditional user interface.
OpenOffice's interface is straightforward and user-friendly.


Can OpenOffice open Microsoft Office files?

Yes, but it may not always preserve complex formatting perfectly.

Is OpenOffice compatible with all operating systems?

It works on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Is Microsoft Office free?

No, it requires a purchase or a subscription.

Does Microsoft Office offer cloud storage?

Yes, it integrates with OneDrive for cloud storage.

Can I use Microsoft Office on multiple devices?

Yes, depending on your subscription plan.

Can I edit PDFs in Microsoft Office?

Yes, particularly in newer versions.

Is Microsoft Office available on Linux?

No, but it can be accessed via the web on Linux systems.

Does Microsoft Office have a web version?

Yes, Office 365 includes web versions of its applications.

Does Microsoft Office support collaborative work?

Yes, especially through its Office 365 suite.

Does OpenOffice offer customer support?

It relies mainly on community support and forums.

Can I transfer my Microsoft Office documents to OpenOffice?

Yes, but be cautious of formatting changes.

Are updates frequent in OpenOffice?

No, updates are less frequent compared to Microsoft Office.

Is OpenOffice suitable for professional use?

It can be, though it might lack some advanced features of Microsoft Office.

Does Microsoft Office have language translation features?

Yes, in certain applications and versions.

Is data security better in Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office offers robust security features, especially in its cloud services.

Are there mobile apps for Microsoft Office?

Yes, Microsoft Office has mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.

Is OpenOffice being actively developed?

Its development is slower and community-driven.

Can OpenOffice handle large and complex documents?

It can, but with potentially less efficiency than Microsoft Office.

Are there templates available in OpenOffice?

Yes, though not as extensive as in Microsoft Office.

Is OpenOffice good for beginners?

Yes, its straightforward interface is beginner-friendly.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons