The latest OO.o (OpenOffice.org) boasts several new features. Perhaps the most significant of them is that OO.o now supports the importing of OpenDocument documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
The program, however, cannot save files to OpenDocument. There are no plans to add this capability to the OO.o line. Instead, this will be supported in the more advanced OO.o 2.0.
OpenOffice.org developers say they are close to issuing a release candidate for the long-awaited OO.o 2.0. A native port of OO.o for Max OS X is also expected to arrive shortly.
Once OO.o 2.0 appears, Sun Microsystems Inc. will release StarOffice 8 in short order.
The OpenDocument format is an XML-based OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) international office document standard. It is meant to enable the free exchange of data between OpenDocument-compliant software packages.
Although the OpenDocument standard is only a few months old, it also has garnered government support. The state of Massachusetts CIO, Peter Quinn, has declared as of Jan. 1, 2007, all electronic documents created by state employees could be saved in only two format types: OpenDocument and Adobes PDF (Portable Document Format).
Despite protests from Microsoft, Massachusetts has shown no signs of backing off its OpenDocument plans.
OO.o also has numerous bug fixes and improvements to its font handling. It also includes a fix to a recently reported security problem. Malicious hackers could have used this heap-based buffer overflow problem to run unauthorized programs if a user opened a suitably poisoned document.
This version is licensed under both the now-depreciated SISSL and LGPL. All future versions of OO.o, the 2.0 versions, will be licensed solely under the LGPL.
This new stable version of the popular open-source office suite is now available from the openoffice.org Web site in versions for the Windows (98/ME/NT/2000/XP), Linux (X86 and PowerPC) and Solaris (SPARC and X86) platforms.
Editors Note: This story was updated to clarify the SISSL and LGPL licensing.