First look at OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta

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OOo

Since I’m testing the viability of running Ubuntu on a number of platforms, and paving the way to shift from Internet Explorer to Firefox 3.0, I might as well take a look at the viability of abandoning Microsoft Office and making the leap to OpenOffice.org.

Now, I’m a firm believer that the OpenOffice.org (OO.o) suite offers far more functionality than the average user needs or wants. However, an area of prime concern to me is backward compatibility with Microsoft Office. This is important to me for two reasons:

* I have a massive archive of old Word, Excel and PowerPoint files that I need to be able to have access to. Not only do I need to be able to open these documents, but the reproduction (both on-screen and print) needs to be faithful.

* I exchange Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on a regular basis with others. Most of the people and companies I work with use Microsoft Office (although some do use OO.o) so my solution needs to be compatible.

With that in mind I downloaded OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta and loaded it into a VMware test machine for experimentation.

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