Just like Microsoft Office, LibreOffice consists of a suite of applications called Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing). Most of you will only be interested in the first three as alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, respectively. Notice there is no alternative to Microsoft Outlook in the LibreOffice suite, but very viable Outlook alternatives can be found in products such as Mozilla Thunderbird (free) or eM Client Pro ($49.95 one-time fee).
LibreOffice is actively developed and maintained by a community of users who believe in free software and in sharing their work with the world in completely non-restrictive ways. The term “open source software” delivers on this philosophy, and LibreOffice is one of the best examples of these principles. It is in use by about 10 million Windows and Mac users worldwide.
LibreOffice can be set up to be the default app for Microsoft Office files (e.g., .docx, .xlsx., .pptx) and can also be configured to only save new files in the Microsoft Office file types, thereby achieving full interoperability with the Microsoft Office apps. In fact, once set up this way, you will quickly forget that you are not using the Microsoft apps.
As with any product comparison, there are features that one suite supports that the other doesn’t, and vice-versa. For a detailed product comparison, see this link: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Feature_Comparison:_LibreOffice_-_Microsoft_Office
If you are a basic user of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you will find LibreOffice to have much more than you will ever require, with a familiar user interface.
Feature rich, completely unrestricted, actively developed and supported, compatible with Microsoft Office, and FREE – hard to beat! Give it a try – you can always go back to paying Microsoft if LibreOffice doesn’t work for you.