OpenOffice 3.0 To Be Released on Monday
Microsoft Office is not the only game in town, but as the de-facto industry standard, most alternatives don't have the level of functionality or features that Office does in order to compete commercially. But who needs commercial competition when you can have comparable software for free?
| Credit: OpenOffice.org|
"To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format."
OpenOffice will not be new to many readers, but since Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows (and Microsoft Office 2007 2008 for Mac) came out, the current version of OpenOffice, 2.0, lacked many of Office's new features, such as support of Office's new native file formats. That is about to change on Monday, October 13, when the new version of OpenOffice, 3.0, makes it official debut. A long list of the new features of OpenOffice 3.0 can be found here, but some key new functions are support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) version 1.2, Microsoft Office 2007/2008 import filters, a spreadsheet solver, and support up to 1,024 columns in spreadsheets (previously, the software only supported 256 columns). While OpenOffice 3.0 can read Microsoft Office 2007/2008 files, it will not be able to write Office 2007/2008 native file formats, such as .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx.
Open Office 3.0 will be available for the following platforms:
- Mac OS (Intel)
- Solaris Sparc
- Solaris x86
- Windows (32-bit)
For those users who just can't wait until Monday, the distribution files have already started seed on the official mirror sites. gHacks.net reports that "the path of the final release is usually openoffice/stable/3.0.0/ on the ftp mirrors." gHacks.net also advises:
"The release notes have not been updated yet but there cannot be many changes between Release Candidate 4 and the final release of Open Office due to the lack of time between the releases... Cautious users should wait until Monday to download and install the release after the official announcement of the Open Office team."
Don't expect OpenOffice to be quite as slick and polished as Microsoft Office, nor will it have all the bells and whistles. But it should meet the needs of most users, and you can't beat the price: Free.