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The phrase "open source", as used in the title, can also be read as "free." That is correct - there is a fully functional suite of office software applications very similar to, and compatible with, Microsoft Office. Developers donate their time to maintain the LibreOffice suite of applications and keep them up to date.

LibreOffice will run on your Windows operating system and will open, edit, and create Microsoft data files including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. It has been around in one form or another for years and is totally free to download. You do have the option to make a donation to the cause, but there is no requirement to do so.

A Very Brief LibreOffice History

In the early 1970s, Richard Stallman was a Harvard-educated software engineer working on artificial intelligence projects for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As software development migrated away from the university environment and into the private sector, jobs like Stallman's were gradually eliminated, including his in the early 1980s. Stallman was not pleased that private industry was making money writing computer programs and believed that software is meant to be free. And so began the Free Software Foundation in 1985. Developers from around the world joined Stallman's cause, creating free applications and updating and improving them over time.

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