OpenOffice 2.4 is out. Verdict? It's excellent

OpenOffice just keeps getting better. 2.4 is excellent.

I've long preferred OpenOffice for my presentations. It has functionality (like the ability to enter a group of objects I've grouped and edit just one of them) that I simply can't get in Microsoft Office, and the performance is quite good. I'm therefore happy to see version 2.4 hit public release. The good just got better, as The Register reports:

The 2.4 database, Base, now supports MS-Access 2007, while capabilities for MySQL, Oracle JDBC and native HSQL databases have been improved.

PDF handling has been improved with five export options, and Writer has been rounded out with improved "find and replace", new keyboard short cuts, and the ability to set options for printing hidden or place-holder text and for following hyperlinks.

There are also improvements to Chart and Draw feature, and the Impress presentation package includes 3D transition effects.

In the past I've been harshly critical of OpenOffice. Back when I started using it (some eight years ago), it was pathetic. But it's amazing how far it has come since then, largely due to the corporate efforts of Novell and Sun.

If you haven't used it recently, you haven't used it at all. Give 2.4 a spin. You'll be impressed.