The free alternative to Office is now paid: why do they charge 8.99 euros?

Until now, if we were looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office that was free, LibreOffice quickly came to mind. This open source software derived from OpenOffice has now decided that the free version will no longer be free, but will cost 8.99 euros.

However, luckily this price does not affect all versions or all types of downloads, but is something exclusive to the Mac Store.

The free alternative to Office is now paid

LibreOffice, but not FreeOffice on the Mac Store

The Document Foundation (TDF) announced the launch of LibreOffice on Apple‘s Mac App Store to help end users who want to get all of their desktop software from Apple’s proprietary sales channel. Until now, Collabora was the one who had launched LibreOffice on the Mac App Store. TDF will charge a “convenience fee” of 8.99 euros , which will be invested to support the development of the LibreOffice project.

LibreOffice Mac Store

That is, only those who, for whatever reason, prefer to download it from the Mac App Store will pay for the Mac version. The software will remain free if you choose to download it from the official website , where you will only have to select your operating system to download the installation file.

“We are grateful to Collabora for having supported LibreOffice in Apple’s Mac app stores for quite some time,” said Italo Vignoli, marketing for LibreOffice. The goal is to better meet the needs of individual and business users, although we know that the positive effects of the change will not be visible for some time. Educating companies about FOSS [free and open source software] is not a trivial task and we have just started our journey in this direction.”

LibreOffice packaged for the Mac App Store is based on the same source code, but does not include Java , because external dependencies are not allowed in the store, thus limiting the functionalities of LibreOffice Base. The version now being sold on the App Store replaces an earlier offering provided by open source support team Collabora, which charged $10 for a “Vanilla” version of the suite and offered three years of support.

One of the best alternatives to Office

LibreOffice is a powerful open source office suite (provided under the free/open source version 2.0 Mozilla Public License), and a successor project to OpenOffice , used by millions of people around the world. Its clean interface and feature-rich tools help its users to unleash their creativity and improve their productivity. The package includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).


LibreOffice is a very decent suite, although it does have a quirk in its design, which is that The Document Foundation has developed a browser-based version of the suite , but decided not to progress to becoming a full competitor to Office or Workspaces. Doing so “would require the selection and integration of the other technologies necessary for the implementation (file sharing, authentication, load balancing, etc.), a significant growth in scope and would not be in line with the original mission of the project”, states the foundation page describing their browser-based efforts.