I’ve just downloaded and installed OpenOffice.org 2.0 for Mac OS-X/X11, and I’m happy to report that the issues that plagued the previous version, so far, seems to have been addressed.
It’s impressive that the Danish version of OpenOffice.org 2.0 is available already, including proofing tools, as well as versions for the major operating systems (Windows, Linux, Solaris and amazingly Mac OS-X, the previous versions for Mac OS-X were some releases behind).
A native Mac OS-X version is high on my wish-list however. When compared directly to Office:mac, there is a clear performance difference, with Office:mac winning hands down. We’re no longer used to noticeable lag when typing in a word processing application, and Office:mac definitively has a much sleeker interface, OpenOffice is clearly targeting the Windows versions of Microsoft Office, which is understandably.
Now that we have a very good alternative to Microsoft Office, I think that we can start a crusade against the widespread distribution of documents in the Microsoft Word format. Doing this could pave the road towards the reclaiming of the desktop. It’s definitely convenient to have PDF export directly from the Word processor, and this could lead to more documents being distributed in PDF format instead of Microsoft Word DOC format, a move that I would welcome.
Another thing is that Microsoft has plans to change the UI of the next version of Office, Office 12, radically. So now could be the time to consider making the switch from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice, before the user base gets used to the new tricks Microsoft has up it’s sleeves. I do expect Microsoft to deliver high-quality applications, and even to innovate on the UI front, but I question that the average user really need any radical changes to the UI of desktop productivity applications.
OpenOffice is, of course, not just Word Processing, it’s now a fully featured professional Office suite, including Spreadsheet, Presentation, Drawing and Database applications.
I’ll try using OpenOffice.org 2.0 for my desktop productivity needs. I gave up quickly on the previous version because of MAJOR compatibility problems, as I mentioned the problems I experienced with the previous versions for Mac OS-X seem to have been resolved, but I’ll continue testing and report back on this.
At last a plea…I hope that the resellers will take compatibility problems more seriously in the future. The resellers I demonstrated some of the problems I had to at the LinuxForum 2005, didn’t seem to care.