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Open source alternative to Office 365

It can be hard to get away from working and collaborating on the web. Doing that is incredibly convenient: as long as you have an internet connection, you can easily work and share from just about anywhere, on just about any device.

The main problem with most web-based office suites—like Google Drive, Zoho Office, and Office365—is that they're closed source. Your data also exists at the whim of large corporations. I'm sure you've heard numerous stories of, say, Google locking or removing accounts without warning.

If that happens to you, you lose what's yours. So what's an open source advocate who wants to work with web applications to do? You turn to an open source alternative, of course. Let's take a look.


Open Source Software (OSS)

Freedom, flexibility, low cost, no vendor lock-in, no jumping through monopoly license hoops, enables byod, local software, hybrid cloud.


Great local-first software should have seven key properties.

  • It should be fast. We don’t want to make round-trips to a server to interact with the application. Operations can be handled by reading and writing to the local file system, with data synchronisation happening in the background.

  • It should work across multiple devices. Local-first apps keep their data in local storage on each device, but the data is also synchronised across all the devices on which a user works.

  • It should work without a network. This follows from reading and writing to the local file system, with data synchronisation happening in the background when a connection is available. That connection could be peer-to-peer across devices, and doesn’t have to be over the Internet.

  • It should support collaboration. “In local-first apps, our ideal is to support real-time collaboration that is on par with the best cloud apps today, or better. Achieving this goal is one of the biggest challenges in realizing local-first software, but we believe it is possible.“

  • It should support data access for all time. On one level you get this if you retain a copy of the original application (and an environment capable of executing it). Even better is if the local app using open / long lasting file formats. See e.g. the Library of Congress recommended archival formats.

  • It should be secure and private by default. “Local-first apps can use end-to-end encryption so that any servers that store a copy of your files only hold encrypted data they cannot read.”

  • It should give the user full ownership and control of their data. “…we mean ownership in the sense of user agency, autonomy, and control over data. You should be able to copy and modify data in any way, write down any thought, and no company should restrict what you are allowed to do.“



    BA.net Price Advantage
    Save 70% Replacing G Suite, Basecamp, Office 365

    Gsuite, Basecamp or O365 Private Cloud Office BA.net

  • Up to 15 users
  • Office plus email
  • Some soft limitations
  • High vendor lock-in
  • Up to 15 users
  • Office plus email
  • No soft limitations
  • No vendor lock-in
  • $100.00 /month

    $34.99 /month

    $19.99 /month (office without email)

    Free Download





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