The release date had been timed for Thursday, half a decade after Microsoft Office, but only relatively recently has OpenOffice picked up significant steam.. That day brought a new competitive front against the dominance of
Instead of unveiling the final version of an extensive revamp, though, OpenOffice developers stamped out a simple but significant bug that caused some opaque graphics elements to appear incorrectly as transparent, said Louis Suarez-Potts, community manager for the project. The bug is fixed in a new release candidate that should hit download sites Friday, he said.
Unless any other serious problems are found, version 2.0 should be released next week, Suarez-Potts said.
Though Microsoft's rival software remains dominant, OpenOffice can count significant victories. Its file format, in contrast to the proprietary ones used by Microsoft, is being standardized as, a . , Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said earlier in October. And so far, more than 49 million copies of the software have been downloaded, most of them , according to the OpenOffice Web site.
OpenOffice 2.0 includes a long list of new features besides the OpenDocument format. Among them:
The user interface has been changed. People can use the software with a multipane view that divides the user interface into tool and work areas, while toolbars can be customized.
Password-protected Microsoft Office files can be opened, as long as the password is known.
A mail merge wizard is designed to make it easier to create different versions of the same letter intended for a large number of recipients.
There are more-sophisticated options for export of files into Portable Document Format, a file format Microsoft plans to support with its upcoming Office 12.
The Calc spreadsheet software supports twice as many rows--65,536, the same number as Microsoft Excel.
The Java-based HSQLDB database is included.
Documents can include digital signatures.
WordPerfect files can be imported.
There's support for different operating systems' native installation formats--MSI files for Windows and RPM files for Linux, for example.