Why Update to OpenOffice 3.0
Article by George Norman
On 30 Oct 2008
If you are not amongst the 6 million people that have downloaded OpenOffice 3.0 since it came out on the 13th of October, then I suggest you do so now. In the first week alone a staggering 3 million people downloaded the software; at one point the demand was so high that the organization’s servers crashed. Let’s see what the advantages of using OpenOffice 3.0 are.

Those of you that are already using OpenOffice 2.X versions are well advised to upgrade – if not to take advantage of the new features, then at least to address the security vulnerabilities found in these software versions. The two vulnerabilities found in all software versions prior to 2.4.2 and 3.0 refer to the fact that someone with malicious intent could execute arbitrary code on the targeted machine. It seems that OpenOffice does not process WMF and EMF files in a secure manner. The fact that no exploits have been detected in the wild is compensated only by the fact that there are no viable workarounds for these issues. The only course of action is to upgrade.

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Another good reason to download OpenOffice 3.0 is the fact that it will not cost you anything; it does pretty much all the things that MSOffice does, but for free. The way I see it you have two alternatives. Alternative number 1: purchase Microsoft Office. Alternative number 2: use a similar, web based solution such as Google Docs.

The simple truth of the matter is that if you work with word processors a lot (like me), and collaborate with other people, then the Microsoft Office alternative is too expensive to be viable. Microsoft did indeed announce that it will make its office suite available online, but we may have to wait a little while until that happens. Not only do we not know when the office suite will join cloud computing, but the online version of this software will be a stripped out one (some components and features will be discarded).Google Docs will work, but not all of your collaborators will be willing to switch to an online service, leaving the locally installed software behind. What you need is a free software application that can be easily shared, and that is where OpenOffice shines.

Last but not least, OpenOffice 3.0 brings an impressive list of new features. Let’s go over them really quickly: Mac OS X, Office 2007, and ODF 1.2 support, chart enhancements, solver feature, start center, wiki publisher extension, and several other improvements. What this all adds up to is a very impressive piece of software.



Tags: OpenOffice, Microsoft Office
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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