OpenOffice 2.0 beta

OpenOffice 2.0 beta

While reading this “review” of SUSE Linux 9.3 (actually looks like more of an ad, which probably shouldn’t surprise since it is hosted on Novell’s website), I came across this screenshot that did give me pause (that’s Shakespearean for you!)

OpenOffice 2.0 screenshot

Having used OpenOffice 1.x (and its predecessors, since the then-free StarOffice version 5.x), I must say that it actually (and finally!) looks visually appealing! According to the website, version 2.0 is still in its final stages of beta testing, but tempted by this most exciting list of new features, I went ahead to download and install it in my PC.

I was not disappointed.

From the loading times to user-interface to wizards and new features, this version seems very very promising. I especially like the fact that there is now a (optionally) wizard-driven database component built into OpenOffice. Yes, it did crash on my once, but hey, it’s still in beta (read: some bugs expected).

This blog also contains quite a few very in-depth posts on the new features we can expect to see.

I really can’t wait for the release of 2.0. Where the 1.x release was adequate and despite the fact that it cost no $$$, it wasn’t enough for many MS Office users to get them switching because OO was simply too ugly/unintuitive/lacking in features/lacking in stability/unfamiliar (pick your reason here). Some even compare OO 1.x to MS Office 95! But when 2.0 is out, I suspect it’ll pose a much more credible challenge to MS Office.