New Open Office Release

I have for quite a while been a big supporter of OpenOffice 2.0 as an alternative to MS Office.  It is free, and it tends to be quite compatible with MS Office file formats.  In fact, I use the Open Office spreadsheet to open and fix Excel spreadsheets that Excel corrupts and cannot open.

I have not yet read the release notes, so I don't know what has been updated, but version 3.0 was released the other day.


  1. Josh:

    Probably the biggest improvement with 3.0 is compatibility with Office 2007 (docx, &c.) files. Also, for Mac users it now has a native Aqua interface rather than relying on X11. I haven't given it a try yet, but it sounds like a pretty decent upgrade to 2.0.

  2. Speedmaster:

    I've been using OO for a couple years, highly recommended! Have you seen Google Docs yet? Fantastic and constantly improving.

  3. jsalvati:

    How good do you think the spreadsheet program is for engineering applications? especially optimization (solver)

  4. JimC:

    I also have been using OO for a while now. I finally quit using it because of a couple of reasons. First, the startup seems slow and kludgy to me. As opposed to MS Office, on my laptop, startup takes about 35 seconds vs. 18 for MS. Secondly, some spreadsheet macros written by others in the company do not translate over to OO - I suspect that the VB component is in the way. And last, I don't really like the look of OO. Admittedly, free vs the 300 dollars for MS Office, this last point is but a quibble. Since my company has a site licence for MS Office, it is "free" to me.

    I do like OO though, and installed it on all the PC's in my wife's company about 2 years ago. So far so good. No complaints at all about the performance, so maybe my experience is unique.

    Also, for opening corrupted Excel files, OO excels. (Or for passworded files as well).

  5. Steve:

    Great post!

    Would you like a Link Exchange with our new blog COMMON CENTS where we blog about the issues of the day??

  6. Speedmaster:

    Sadly, 3.0 is not available for OS X on PowerPC. ;-(

  7. Jess:

    And this seemingly demonstrates the variables in personal computing...
    I ditched MSO because it was so clunky compared to OO. I migrated our systems to Vista (don't laugh - it's worked very well indeed), and oddly enough OO seems to work better...
    I'm trying out 3.0 on a couple of machines right now - so far, so good.
    To answer speed - don't know yet - but so far "calc" seems to = excel.