Posted by: reformedmusings | September 13, 2008

Another Linux Office Suite

The premier office suite for Linux at the moment is the excellent OpenOffice.org. Although availlable for free for Linux, Windows, Solaris, and Mac, Sun sells it with support and indemnification as Sun Office for $69.95. Now, another player has entered the Linux market. The German software company Softmaker has ported its very nice Softmaker Office 2008 to Linux, selling it for $79.95. You can get both the Linux and Windows versions together for $99.95.

Softmaker isn’t new to the office suite market. Softmaker Office has been available for Desktop Windows and PocketPC/Windows Mobile for many years, steadily improving with time. It features Textmaker, a word processor, Planmaker, a spreadsheet, and Presentations, a presentation graphics program. They also have a scripting engine for sophisticated and automated products. Like OpenOffice.org’s programs, all the components are fully Microsoft Office compatible, so you can communicate and exchange freely with those still enslaved by the Redmond empire.

I used Softmaker Office on Windows back when I used that operating system, and continue to use it on my Windows Mobile PDA. The suite is stable, fast, and easy to learn and use. Although Softmaker has its own data file formats, their products both read and write Microsoft Office formats. Plus, they can all export documents directly to PDF format–no need for the expensive Adobe Acrobat.

Unlike OpenOffice.org, Softmaker Office is not open source at this writing and there is no free version. Even so, it’s great to have another quality office suite for Linux, especially for businesses that need support. The new Linux version is currently in beta and definitely worth checking out. Instead of your business paying large and regular tribute to the Redmond empire, check out Sun Office and Softmaker Office 2008 which have all the quality at a fraction of the price.

My thanks to Softmaker for increasing the choices available to the Linux community. UPDATE: See my quick look at Softmaker Office 2008 here.

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