OpenOffice, the popular free competitor to Office, still offers everything that you need for daily office work: from a text editor, spreadsheet calculations to presentation features. For quite some time Apache has been responsible for it now.
The free office suite consists of text editor, spreadsheet app, graphics program, database administration and math formula editor. In the final version OpenOffice is available in 25 languages and can deal with Microsoft Office documents.
What's special about OpenOffice in comparison to other office software is the focus on modules and the use of XML as an internal data format. OpenOffice comes without extras like clip arts, complicated templates and fonts but can be extended.
For OpenOffice 4.0 the office suite got a significant update. New is the sidebar, for example, which you can use to arrange often used tools. That's especially helpful on widescreen monitors - here you really take advantage of the extra space. For that reason the Writer now features bullet points, content lists and numerations.
Especially if you import Microsoft Office documents there are fewer errors now. And there are various alterations and improvements in all the tools, which you can look up in detail in the release notes.
Verdict: Apache is further developing OpenOffice, which includes all the tools you need for the office - and everything completely for free. The program is now also better when it comes to importing and exporting Microsoft Office documents. Plus, OxygenOffice Professional, which is based on OpenOffice, includes further clip arts, templates and fonts.