OpenOffice.org 3.3 Released to Deaf Ears
One day after the announcement of LibreOffice 3.3, Oracle released the free version of OpenOffice.org. Perhaps it was due to the lack of fanfare, but it seems this release was met with a collective indifference. Smart money would probably bet that the lack of interest was due to the LibreOffice release, which, in contrast, was met with enthusiasm all over the Internet.
No press release, no announcement, hardly any mention at all marked the release of OpenOffice.org. Only those watching www.openoffice.org noted the occasion. The OpenOffice.org Website did change their home and news pages to reflect the new version bump, but LibreOffice posted a press release on their mailing list, copied it to their blog, and send out copies to many journalists/writers working in Open Source. The announcement of LibreOffice was mentioned by all the big Websites and a lot of bloggers. Reviews, slideshows, and favorite things on LibreOffice are popping up already. Hardly any Websites, maybe three or four, even mentioned the release of OpenOffice.org. Oracle sure has doused the Sunlight of this once staple of every free desktop.
Regardless of what this will mean for Oracle and their commercial version, the free OpenOffice.org was released. It did offer some new features that some could argue is already a step or two behind LibreOffice, since LibreOffice included all of OpenOffice.org's new features besides a whole laundry list of their own. Since LibreOffice is Open Source Software, you can bet all these new features will find their way into OpenOffice.org next release. But it sets the stage for a pattern of OpenOffice.org always being that step behind LibreOffice.
Some of the new features of OpenOffice.org 3.3 include:
* A new option in setting document password protection, can now allow reading while protecting a document from changes.
* Calc spreadsheets now support one million rows, up from the previous 65,536.
* Charts can now be enhanced with drawing objects, like arrows, symbols, and flowcharts.
* Clean-up of the Presentation slide creator, slide type is now chosen from the side from a variety instead of having that many slide layout varieties.
* Quick search box on toolbar with next and previous buttons.
* Several new helpful case options, such as sentence by sentence or just first letter.
* Colored tabs in Calc, ease transitioning between sheets.
* Full list of new features are here.
OpenOffice.org was once a proud accomplishment of Open Source ingenuity, cooperation, organization, and marketing. Today it's but a shadow of its proud heritage. This spirit is continuing over at The Document Foundation though.