Sneaky OpenOffice 3 Download
OpenOffice.org is hosting a get-together on October 13 in Paris to mark their eighth anniversary and the official release of OpenOffice 3.0.0.
OpenOffice is a free and open source productivity suite that is seen as an alternative to Microsoft Office. This latest version could be seen as a playful Microsoft Office 2003, missing some of its features but surpassing it in other areas. OpenOffice Writer (Microsoft Word equivalent) defaults to saving in its own format (.odt), but the setting can be changed to automatically save in the prevalent Word format (.doc). With this change, we believe most users wouldn’t even notice they were using OpenOffice 3 instead of Microsoft Office 2003 or below.
Even though the official release is currently 2.4.1 (on Friday) and version 3.0.0 won’t be officially released until Monday you can actually already find version 3.0.0 (stable and final) on a number of OpenOffice download mirrors. US mirror TDS among others is currently hosting the latest version.
This latest suite includes support for the latest Microsoft Office Word format (.docx), documents saved in the latest version of Microsoft’s Office suite, 2007 (or 2008 on Mac OS X) can now be opened in OpenOffice. Zooming similar to that available in Microsoft Office 2007 is available as well as a new Start Center and status bar. Even rudimentary support for VBA is included. As per usual, OpenOffice allows you to export your documents to PDF, something that Microsoft Office lacks.
In the current climate of ‘less is more’ referring to cloud computing, for instance Google’s online office suite Google Docs; OpenOffice holds an almost perfect balance between features and simplicity. OpenOffice uses less than 200 MB of your hard drive with a complete install while a Microsoft Office 2007 installation with similar features will hover nearer the 1,500 MB mark.
We’ve been using OpenOffice for several hours now, what’s most striking is how polished it feels compared to its predecessors. OpenOffice is an excellent piece of software, if you bought Microsoft Office for occasional word documents, spreadsheets or presentations while already aware of OpenOffice then you’re simply mad.