Difference between MS Office and Open Office

MS Office and OpenOffice are both office productivity software packages that are used for a variety of tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. Read this article to find out more about MS Office and OpenOffice and how they are different from each other.

What is MS Office?

Microsoft Office, abbreviated MS Office, is a productivity software package created and sold by Microsoft Corporation. For many years, it has been one of the most extensively used office suites in the world.

MS Office is a collection of apps designed to let users create, edit, manage, and share many sorts of documents for personal, educational, and professional usage.

Key Components of MS Office

  • Microsoft Word − Microsoft Word is a word-processing tool for producing and formatting documents. It allows users to generate text-based documents such as letters, reports, essays, and more. It includes different formatting settings, spell- and grammar-checking, and the ability to insert photos, tables, and other objects.

  • Microsoft Excel − Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet tool for organizing, calculating, and analyzing data. It uses a grid of cells organized into columns and rows, from which users may conduct mathematical computations, make charts and graphs, and modify data using functions and formulas.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint − Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation application that allows users to create visual slideshows for presentations. Text, photographs, charts, animations, and multimedia elements can be added by users to create compelling and dynamic presentations.

  • Microsoft OneNote − Microsoft OneNote is a digital note-taking tool that allows users to easily and hierarchically collect and organize notes, ideas, web clippings, and multimedia information. Handwritten notes, audio recordings, and numerous formatting options are all supported.

  • Microsoft Publisher − Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing program that is generally used to design and create publications such as brochures, flyers, newsletters, and greeting cards.

  • Other Tools and Services − Depending on the edition or subscription plan, MS Office may contain additional tools or services such as Microsoft Teams for collaboration, Skype for Business for communication, and more.

What is Open Office?

The Apache Software Foundation developed and maintains OpenOffice, often known as Apache OpenOffice or OpenOffice.org, a free and open-source office productivity package. It provides a suite of apps that enable users to perform word processing, spreadsheet analysis, presentations, graphic production, and other tasks.

OpenOffice is available on a variety of platforms including Windows, macOS, and Linux. As an open-source project, it is constantly updated and enhanced by a volunteer community.

Components of OpenOffice

  • Calc − Calc is OpenOffice's spreadsheet application, similar to Microsoft Excel. Users can organize data in cells, do mathematical calculations, generate charts, and apply functions and formulas. Pivot tables, data analysis tools, and conditional formatting are all supported by Calc.

  • Impress − Impress is OpenOffice's presentation program, similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. Text, photos, animations, charts, and multimedia elements can be used to construct and deliver multimedia presentations. It includes slide transitions as well as a variety of presentation views.

  • Draw − Draw is an OpenOffice graphics program. It is used in the creation of diagrams, flowcharts, technical drawings, and other vector graphics. Draw also allows users to work with 3D objects and includes tools for altering and changing graphics.

  • Math − Math is an OpenOffice formula editing program. It is used to construct and edit mathematical equations and expressions for usage in Writer, Calc, and other applications.

Difference between MS Office and Open Office

The following table highlights the major differences between MS Office and Open Office −


MS Office

Open Office

User Interface

Ribbon-based design, modern interface

Simpler and more straightforward interface resembling older versions of office suites


Widespread compatibility with file formats

Supports various formats but might encounter occasional compatibility issues

Ownership and Licensing

Proprietary software; Requires a license

Open-source software; Freely available

Applications Included

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.

Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, Math

Updates and Support

Regular updates and technical support

Updates and support primarily community-driven, with some support from Apache Software Foundation


Requires payment for licensing or subscription

Free to download, use, modify, and distribute

Advanced Features

Comprehensive features with regular updates

May have limitations when compared to proprietary alternatives

Online Collaboration

Extensive cloud-based services and collaboration via Microsoft 365 (Office 365)

Limited integrated cloud-based collaboration features

Development and Updates

Developed and maintained by Microsoft

Developed and maintained by Apache Software Foundation with contributions from the community


In conclusion, Microsoft Office is a proprietary suite with frequent updates, solid support, and good compatibility, whereas OpenOffice is an open-source alternative that provides free access to core office productivity tools but may have limitations in advanced functionality and support.

The decision between the two is influenced by your individual requirements, budget, and desire for open-source software.

Updated on: 17-Aug-2023


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