Oracle issues first OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 release candidate
Two months after the first beta arrived, the OpenOffice.org developers have issued the first release candidate (RC1) of OpenOffice.org 3.3.0, the next release of the Oracle owned open source office suite. According to the OpenOffice.org Wiki, the RC1 development version will be followed by a second release candidate and a quality assurance (QA) build prior to the final product release. Dates for the RC2, QA and Final version have yet to be confirmed.
OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 RC1 features an updated, easier to use, Extension Manager user interface (UI) and a number of improvements to Calc spreadsheets, such as increasing the number of rows supported from 65,536 to 1,048,576. Improvements to document security include updates to the save file with password function that allows users to add an additional password to protect a document from being edited. Other changes include coloured individual spreadsheet tabs, PDF export updates that allow users to optional embed the standard 14 PDF fonts, a restructuring of the print system and a thesaurus available in context menus. Various changes have also been included from the Renaissance Project, part of the User Experience Project (UX) at OpenOffice.org, which has been refining the Impress user interface.
OpenOffice.org has been under fire in recent weeks and a number of its community members have launched The Document Foundation to manage and develop the LibreOffice fork of OpenOffice.org. The new foundation, supported by companies like Google, Novell and Red Hat, was formed following concerns about Oracle's commitment to OpenOffice.org and it aims to make LibreOffice a truly free and open source office suite.
As with all development releases, use of OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 RC1 in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.
More information about the release candidate can be found in the release notes. OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 RC 1 is available to ddownload for Windows, Mac OS X and Solaris from the OpenOffice.org site. The latest stable release of OpenOffice.org is version 3.2.1, which closed two security vulnerabilities and included an updated splash screen and a new version of the OpenOffice.org logo. OpenOffice.org is available under version 3 of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3).
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