Some people are perfectly happy to shell out a hundred bucks or more for Microsoft Office 2007, and others don’t mind getting on the wrong side of the law by downloading OfFiCe2oo7FULL+KeYgEN(NO_VIRUSES).iso.rar off BitTorrent. For everybody else, there’s OpenOffice.org. As it happens, the OpenOffice.org Community has finally concluded months of beta testing and released version 3.0 of their office package. You can download it from the official site in Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X flavors.
If you’d like to see what you’re getting into before you download—and since heavy traffic has reduced the official site to a 1990s-style mirror page—you may find LinuxFormat’s preview interesting. As the British magazine mentions, OpenOffice.org 3.0 can import Office 2007 OOXML files with extensions like .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx. You’ll need to save them in another format, though, because OOXML write support hasn’t made it in yet.
Major interoperability additions aside, the OOo team has revamped the splash screen, made it so the Word-like Writer component can display multiple pages side-by-side, and updated the Calc spreadsheet tool to support 1024 columns instead of 256. Also, the Impress presentation app now lets you insert tables without having to sacrifice a goat and recite the LGPL license backwards. Don’t go in looking for any performance improvements, however: LinuxFormat’s tests suggest the new release is just as slow (if not a tad slower) than version 2.4.