I want to share some unsolicited praise for the small staff of developers that have worked on NeoOffice for the Mac for over 5 years. When Sun’s OpenOffice project only supported Mac through the clunky X11 interface back then, NeoOffice offered native OSX support without the help of additional programs.
While it is true that OpenOffice has the full backing of Sun Microsystems behind it — they only produced a native Mac version last year. NeoOffice has created a very Mac specific product based on OpenOffice for many years and it is only gotten better. OpenOffice is an open-source project. That means if Jim and Jane were software developers and they wanted to make their own software suite — they could literally take the OpenOffice code and make a software suite called Jim and Jane’s Office and it would be totally legal.
NeoOffice 3.0 is based off of Open Office 3.0 and is more Mac-centric than the OpenOffice you can download from openoffice.org. So for all my Mac friends (PowerPC and Intel), I recommend to keep using NeoOffice if you were already using it. Furthermore, the NeoOffice product will allow you to open and save in the Office 2007 formats. OpenOffice for Mac will only allow you to open them.
If you need a product with telephone support – you can buy Microsoft Office 2008 Mac or iWork 09. I am not going to say NeoOffice is better or worse than these programs. It’s a matter of your personal preference. All 3 are solid office suites.
NeoOffice will not be able to survive without your support, but I was premature in saying they were heading toward failure. Hundreds of thousands of Mac users are using the free NeoOffice but perhaps just a few have ever donated anything to keep this volunteer effort going. Tonight, I am putting my $$ where my mouth is and have donated $25 to the NeoOffice project. Though it is a free program, a donation is not going to line the pockets of developers Ed Peterlin and Patrick Lubby. They allow users from all over the world to download Neo Office on multiple server connections. Those servers costs hundreds of dollars each per month. If you use NeoOffice as your primary word processing /spreadsheet / presentation suite, I would urge you to do the same – even if you can only afford $5.
You can download the latest NeoOffice version, learn more about the product and make a donation at
UPDATE 08/13/10: If you are a Mac user and do not need the advanced features of Microsoft Office, do yourself a favor and download NeoOffice today. Be sure to make a $25 donation to the developers to keep their cause going. This is a great way to support small business in America, the true driving force of our economy. A $25 + donation to Neo Office gets you free support through their website for one year.