OpenOffice 3 crashes out of the gate
The new version of the freebie OpenOffice suite, released today, offers snappier performance than its predecessor. Plus its word processor, spreadsheet and other apps gain read support for Microsoft Office 2007/2008 file formats, including the notorious .docx.
One major hitch: intial interest in the OpenOffice 3 was such that the openoffice.org download site crashed, unable to cope with the traffic (and as I write, half a day into the release, there are still "technical difficulties". The suite is available through several other sources, including download.com; be warned the install file is a relatively hefty 127MB download).
Once you do manage to snag a copy, you'll see that as well as loading and running noticably faster than OpenOffice 2.x, version 3 gets native support for MacOS, and should be more stable under Vista. Native support for the OpenDocument format has also been added, and users can now save to the aforementioned docx or xlxs.
OpenOffice 3 retain's the suite's trademark plain-Jane interface, with no major changes to its overall look and feel, bar a new "start center" that features big icons for one-click access its apps.
Bankrolled by corporate supporters including Sun Microsystems, IBM and Google, and supported by the open source community at large, OpenOffice is a free-download suite that includies word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing and database programs.