"OpenOffice.org 3.0 is 167 days away, but who's counting? Maybe the software developers are counting because they have a whopping 2,278 issues targeted for this release. Even though OpenOffice.org 2.4 is not yet out the door, let's see how far they've come with OpenOffice.org 3.0."
"There's been quite a bit of buzz recently after it was announced that OpenOffice 3 was due in September. It seems, however, most people still aren't aware of what's in store. The Openpoffice.org website is a rather scary place. We managed to find this conference presentation lurking in the shadows before running away in fear of mid 90’s web design. Here's the best bits."
Microsoft has released Office:Mac 2008. "The suite is a major step forward for those who prefer to use the Redmond company's applications for the Mac platform. Since its last update in 2004, much has changed on the Windows side: this effectively brings Apple customers up to speed." Ars sat down with the Mac Business Unit at MacWorld.
Ars reviews Office:Mac 2008, and concludes: "Perhaps the best thing that can be said about software that one uses in the course of working is that even if it doesn't make the work fun, it doesn't make it any worse, and that's certainly the story with Office 2008. Those spreadsheets, presentations and software reviews won't write themselves, but now it's a deal easier to make them look like they did. That it does that in just the way you'd want a great Macintosh program to behave is good news for Office workers."
"Following our policy strategy to publish releases on a regular basis, OpenOffice.org 2.3.1 is available for download now. Although it is primarily a maintenance release, we recommend users to install the release due to a security fix. Full details of the changes may be found in the Release Notes associated with the release."
A group formed five years ago to promote the OpenDocument Format has abandoned ODF and will favor one developed by the World Wide Web Consortium known as the 'Compound Document Format', or CDF. The OpenDocument Foundation's format failed to meet market requirements, the group said.
Remember those great "home of the future" demonstrations from days past? If you're not old enough to remember them from world fairs, Disneyland, or movie newsreels, you've probably seen the cartoons parodying them: Robotic maids, self-cleaning kitchens, futuristic-looking plastic furniture, dehydrated food; everything white, round, and sparkling. Well, it's the future now, and it didn't exactly turn out the way they thought it would, but thanks to ubiquitous computer technology, today's home can have capabilities that futurists 50 years ago would never have imagined.
Microsoft said that Office 2008 will come in three versions. The "core" version, Office 2008 for Mac, including all the applications plus Automator and Microsoft Exchange Server support, will cost USD 399.95, with a USD 239.95 upgrade price. Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Student Edition will allow three user licenses, but it won't include the Automator and Exchange Server support. It will cost USD 149.95 for the retail version, with no upgrade pricing announced. New to the lineup will be Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition, which will add Microsoft Expression Media for Mac, a revised version of the iView Media digital asset management utility. iView was acquired by Microsoft in 2006. This version will cost USD 499.95, with a USD 299.95 upgrade price.
OpenOffice.org 2.3 has been released. "Available for download now, OpenOffice.org 2.3 incorporates an extensive array of new features and enhancements to all its core components, and protects users from newly discovered security vulnerabilities. It is a major release and all users should download it."
Microsoft has failed in its attempt to have its Office Open XML document format fast-tracked straight to the status of an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization. The proposal must now be revised to take into account the negative comments made during the voting process. Microsoft expects that a second vote early next year will result in approval, it said Tuesday. That is by no means certain, however, given the objections raised by some national standards bodies.
Adobe may launch its own office-application suite, taking it into direct competition with Microsoft. In an interview, Mike Downey, group manager for platform evangelism at Adobe, said that, although he could not reveal any plans at the moment, the possibility should not be dismissed.
The commonwealth of Massachusetts has officially thrown its weight behind Microsoft's Office Open XML format along with the OASIS Open Document Format. In July, the commonwealth added Microsoft's format, also known as Ecma-376 or Open XML, to the list of approved standards in a draft of the Massachusetts ETRM, an architectural framework used to identify the standards, specifications and technologies that support Massachusetts' computing environment.
"Is it game over for OpenDocument? Probably. We've been expecting Massachusetts ITD to publicly revise its open formats mandate to include Office Open XML ever since Louis Gutierrez resigned as CIO in early October 2006. That was as clear a signal that ODF had failed in Massachusetts as needed by anyone in the know."
"'Siag, it sucks less!' This is the slogan for Siag Office. This and the self-effacing name for the Siag Office Word Processor, Pathetic Writer, might leave you thinking that this office suite is a mere plaything, a university student's cobbled-together programming assignment. But don't be fooled by first impressions. Siag Office is a lightweight suite of applications which might be just the right set of office tools for you, especially if you have older hardware."
Under the name Sun ODF Plug-in for Microsoft Office, Sun has released its import/export filter for the OpenDocument format, which the ISO has recognized as a standard, for versions 2000, XP, and 2003 of Microsoft's Office suite; the plug-in can be downloaded via our software repository. The extension allows users of MS Office to read and create text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in the free OpenOffice suite and its commercial version called StarOffice.
Massachusetts has proposed changing its standards policy to make room for Microsoft Office document formats. The state's Information Technology Division on Monday posted a draft proposal, part of a periodic revision to its overall technical architecture, to its Web site where it will be under review until July 20. If accepted, the policy update would list Office Open XML as acceptable 'open formats' for use by executive-branch state agencies. Office Open XML, also referred to as Ecma-376, are the XML-based file formats in Office 2007 that Microsoft standardized at Ecma International late last year.
A very early initial draft of this review was posted on OSNews many months ago. The final version just went live and is about three times as long, now including open source alternatives, as well as a review of the new online word processor solutions.
NewsForge reviews NeoOffice 2.1 and concludes: "All in all, NeoOffice 2.1 is an incremental improvement over NeoOffice 2.0 Beta 3. Microsoft Office OpenXML compatibility is still a weak point, and if you are looking for help, you are better off avoiding the inconsistent and outdated documentation on the wiki and heading directly to the discussion forum. Nevertheless, NeoOffice remains far superior to the X11-based Mac builds of OpenOffice.org. The OS integration work is impressive, and the new features make the suite as a whole all the more indispensable."
"The OpenOffice.org Community announce the release of OpenOffice.org 2.2, the latest version of the leading open-source office suite. With upgrades to its word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, and database software, the free software package provides a real alternative to Microsoft's recently-released Office 2007 product - and an easier upgrade path for existing Microsoft Office users. OpenOffice.org 2.2 also protects users from newly discovered vulnerabilities, where users' PCs could be open to attack if they opened documents from, or accessed web sites set up by, malicious individuals."
The OpenOffice Project has sent a letter to Michael Dell, showering praise on Dell's chairman and CEO and asking him to consider pre-loading OpenOffice onto PCs. The letter is the result of a flood of requests on Dell's online suggestion box, IdeaStorm, for Dell PCs pre-loaded with both Linux operating systems and the open-source suite of desktop productivity applications. John McCreesh, marketing project lead for OpenOffice.org, also asked Dell to consider making a financial contribution to the software's development.