The majority of people that work in some kind of office environment will undoubtedly have used a variation of the Windows operating system, as well as a number of other proprietary apps that they use for productivity. This tends to work fine for the most part, but often this software is incredibly expensive, not viable in certain locations, or has some trouble on older hardware.
Fortunately, the world of free and open source software means that an office-goer can supercharge their productivity without having to invest any of their own capital into the latest Microsoft Office suite of programs. Let’s explore some of the best open source office alternatives that are on the market right now.
Gmail and Outlook are the two biggest names in the market when it comes to email, but they’re not the only options, and are not even necessarily the best. There are, in fact, email provides that are not only open source, but also provide better privacy than many of the other big companies.
Proton Mail, for example, has come a long way since its inception, and now provides a business-facing email service that comes with end-to-end encryption and strong privacy default. For the business owner wanting to keep their sensitive information under lock and key, Proton is arguably the best choice in the world right now.
Microsoft Office has long been the go-to for people in the office, but there are other projects available that provide a similar experience without the yearly or monthly subscriptions that most people would pay to Microsoft.
The two best choices right now are either OpenOffice or LibreOffice. The former is a better choice for those that are hosting Nextcloud servers (which we will mention next) and LibreOffice is a great offline alternative to Microsoft Office, with much of the same functionality. LibreOffice even exports documents in formats that Microsoft Office’s apps can read, making it a great choice when sending documents to those that don’t use LibreOffice.
The cloud has become one of the most popular ways to saving data, but anyone with a local server that wants better privacy, NextCloud is considered the leading in self-hosted office alternatives. While it does mean having the hardware available to support NextCloud, the owner of the hardware can keep a close eye on what’s going on while providing a much stronger degree of privacy to their employees. NextCloud is extremely versatile and can be combined with a number of other office tools for full productivity.
Windows 10 and 11 can be expensive to renew for a starter business, but there are free alternatives that are just as good. Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Fedora Workstation are all great choice for those businesses that want access to the latest technologies that are free to use within small office environments, or even for home use when watching movies and playing live casino online games. For productions servers, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the most highly recommended.