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New Suite: Adequate, but Uninspiring

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The suite may be in danger of becoming an also-ran among office-productivity suites, but not for any lack of capabilities or features. The 3.3 release of the suite debuted at the end of January, shortly after the release of its fraternal twin, LibreOffice 3.3, and is as polished as one might expect in a set of applications that have been under development in one form or another for roughly 20 years.

No, if 3.3 fails to gain traction, it will be because its potential users decline to be dependent on the whims of Oracle, which assumed the leadership of the project with the acquisition last year of Sun Microsystems. It didn’t have to be this way: Had Oracle chosen an uncharacteristically conciliatory path, the LibreOffice and projects would not have forked in the first place. Instead, three of the leading Linux distributions (Canonical, Novell and Red Hat) have rallied behind LibreOffice, leaving Oracle as the only significant supporter of the project.

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