What's in Open Office 2.1
The single biggest competitor to Microsoft's Office suite has reached a new milestone with the recent release of Open Office 2.1. There's a number of new features that stack up well against Office 2007 and its new 'easier' interface.
The single biggest competitor to Microsoft's Office suite has reached a new milestone with the recent release of Open Office 2.1.
The release couldn't have come at a better time for the open source project, with reports on Microsoft's substantive interface changes in Office 2007 generating a mixed response.
Between the option of forking out hundreds of dollars per Office 2007 license, or having a full office suite for free that works the same under Windows and Linux, while working with most Microsoft Office formats (see next), it's a pretty clear choice.
This is no doubt one of the underlying reasons Microsoft is pushing the new formats in Office 2007 so hard -- Open Office (and other applications) won't support them yet, and locking clients into a format only Microsoft tools can read is an old, monopoly-indicted strategy for the software giant.
Open Office is a cross-platform multilingual office suite that looks and operates similar to Microsoft's Office, with interoperability of the same to boot. And while Windows users do have a choice of Microsoft's key bread winner as well as alternatives such as Open Office, under Linux Open Office has quickly became the de-facto Office suite (well there is KOffice, but it's not quite as popular yet)
New features in this release include:
* Multiple monitor support for Impress
* Improved Calc HTML export
* Enhanced Access support for Base
* Even more languages
* Automatic notification of updates
As well as new extensions (third party add-ons to the suite) and a focus on promoting the development of new extensions by the open source community -- a new wiki has even been setup here to help interested developers get involved.
These include blogger support for ATOM, BorderLiner to quickly draw customiseable borders in Calc and Writer, and an SVG import filter among others. The wiki notes a proper website is coming to host and promote extensions by the community.
Windows and Linux binaries for various distributions can be found here at the Open Office binary download page, though look out for tailored versions in your distribution's software archive soon. For torrenters, see the torrent download page for platform specific torrents.
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