A test version of OpenOffice, the open-source brother of Sun Microsystems' StarOffice software and a competitor to Microsoft Office, now can be downloaded, project organizers said Tuesday. The version, an alpha test version intended for programmers, requires the XFree86 graphical interface software and uses an installer from ZeroG Software.
Other versions of OpenOffice run on Linux, Windows and Sun's Solaris. Open-source software is collectively developed by a group of people who freely share the program's underlying source code. By contrast, the source code of proprietary software from companies such as Microsoft is typically kept a tightly guarded secret.