The best way to know the differences between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice is to put them face to face, analyzing their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.

Features of Microsoft Office

  • Integration with the cloud. If you are connected to the Internet and have an active Office 365 subscription, all your documents will automatically be saved in the cloud.
  • Compatible with different architectures. Microsoft Office supports x86, x64, and ARM architectures.
  • Automatic markers. Office has offered for some time now the ability to automatically save the cursor position where you left off editing a document so that you can work from that point again when you reopen it.
  • Own extension store. Microsoft Office lets you download add-ons that you can use, from the suite; without having to use a browser.
  • Digital ink. You can write notes, draw, and delete content using the touch interface.
  • Outlook integration with social networks. Office lets you join contacts in a single place, reducing duplicates, and delivering news of those we have also added in networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • Saving and editing PDF. Office lets you save, open, and edit from Word any PDF file natively.
  • Integration with Skype. The VoIP communication service is integrated into the Office 365 package since 2013. Microsoft also offers 60 minutes to use for Skype calls.

Pros and cons of Office

The main advantage is that it is a universal program. It is the standard in the office automation industry; any document (whether student or corporate work) is usually requested in files that are generated with the programs that make up the suite.

Another aspect to take into account is that it is a complete software, with everything you need to work from your mobile device or from your computer. Besides, it is the best-known solution at corporate levels.

It is also important to note that these are very intuitive programs that can be used with almost no prior knowledge, and if the user still needs a guide to get started, Microsoft provides online tutorials that can be consulted at any time.

When it comes to disadvantages, perhaps the most remarkable problem is its price. An Office license, unless it is aimed at students or households, is not cheap. Office 365 plans are more affordable, but still involve digging into your pocket so you can enjoy the cloud suite to the fullest. The only free alternative is to install Office on mobile devices.

Another disadvantage, which has also been a huge source of debate among users (especially concerning desktop installations), is the weight of Microsoft Office against its direct competition. Its detractors consider that the Redmond suite is loaded with code that is not so necessary, which increases its size and weighs down its performance.

OpenOffice's Features

  • Wide variety of supported formats. In addition to the Microsoft Office formats, it works with the standard OpenDocument formats and lets you export documents in formats such as TXT, SWF, RTF, and OpenOffice XML.
  • Presence on many platforms. In addition to the main operating systems, OpenOffice is present in Linux, BDS, OS/2, Solaris, and OpenSolaris.
  • Compatible with different architectures. Besides x86, x64, and ARM support, OpenOffice can also run on architectures such as SPARC, IA64, PowerPC, and others.
  • Extensions to increase functionality. OpenOffice, like Microsoft Office, also allows you to install extensions that provide some extra power.
  • Support from the Apache Foundation. Apache is in charge of maintaining and updating the OpenOffice code, which gives it certain guarantees.

Pros and cons of OpenOffice

We have already mentioned the main advantage of OpenOffice within its features: it is totally multiplatform, it can be installed in any operating system, and not only in Windows and macOS.

On top of that, OpenOffice is completely free. Just download and install it to start using the suite and its programs without any restrictions, and without having to pay a subscription or any amount in the future (donations to the project are, in any case, voluntary).

In addition, OpenOffice works with an open-source environment, which means that independent developers can contribute to improving the project and fixing bugs without having to go through the Apache filters to start collaborating.

As for its disadvantages, the interface can be a problem for those who are used to Microsoft Office (and is somewhat less intuitive). It is also somewhat slower than Microsoft Office when it comes to opening, saving, and editing large amounts of text.

Its software collection is not 100% compatible with Microsoft Office, which makes moving files between them not always easy. Fonts can also present compatibility problems between this suite and Microsoft's, but this is becoming less common.

Unlike Microsoft Office, OpenOffice does not have online tutorials that show newcomers how to use the suite.


  • OpenOffice has the great advantage of being totally free, is lighter, and tries to maintain an interface as similar as possible to Office (especially to its old versions).
  • The open-source option of OpenOffice is one of its greatest attractions, but it can also be a source of instability as it is constantly changing.
  • OpenOffice can be installed on a greater number of platforms than Microsoft Office while allowing you to handle a greater number of file types.
  • Microsoft Office has more support and user help resources, mainly because it is driven by the economic power of Microsoft behind it.
  • Microsoft Office is the de facto standard, despite not making use of OpenDocument formats.
  • The Microsoft Office interface is more comfortable and intuitive, and the student and Android versions have greatly democratized access to the suite.
  • The integration of Office in the cloud is a great plus for users to access their files from anywhere.