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27 October, 2005
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A Glimpse of OpenOffice 2.0 -- Now Available for Free Public Downloading

. . . one thing that holds many people back from migrating from MS Windows to Linux is their dependency on Microsoft Word and other Microsoft Office components. OpenOffice 2 levels that playing field . . . The release of OpenOffice 2 should see even more people fleeing from Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft products to the GNU-Linux operating system and to open source software.

Mike Angelo -- 27 October 2005 (C) -- Page 2

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Article Index

Introduction

OpenOffice Beats Microsoft Office

Migrating to OpenOffice from Microsoft Office

What's Missing in OpenOffice

OpenOffice Is Best Choice

More About OpenOffice

OpenOffice 2 Helps Migration from MS Windows to Linux

A Note from the OpenOffice.Org People

Resources

To learn why Linux is so much a better choice than is Microsoft Windows, please see our article Gaël Duval Tells Why Mandrake Linux Is Better Than MS Windows

To learn how to run MS Windows-based software and accessories in GNU-Linux, please see our article Crossover Office 2.1 Runs MS Windows Software on GNU-Linux Systems

OpenOffice.org Name Note

Due to some trademarking concerns, the OpenOffice software suite and its development organization both are officially named OpenOffice.org. However, it's lots easier to say, write, and read just plain OpenOffice rather than OpenOffice.org which is somewhat more cumbersome to say, write, and read. Thus, in this article we use the easier to deal with name of OpenOffice -- in pursuit of linguistic efficiency.

A Note from the OpenOffice.Org People

John McCreesh is marketing Project co-Lead for OpenOffice.org. In a pre-publication e-mail discussion about OOo 2 and this article John said:

OOo does recognize the requirement for data to be read from and written to files in a vendor-neutral open-standard file format. Users' real investment in office productivity software is in the files they have created - the collection of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc which they have created. Users need to know they can access them now and in the future, from whichever software they happen to be using at the time.

For this reason, we are proud that OOo 2 is the first office productivity suite to use the OASIS approved OpenDocument file formats as its default for storing files. This is a tremendous breakthrough for users, who by choosing OOo 2 now can guarantee a free choice of software in the future.

This is an important point that I think merits a place in your article.

We agree. It is an important point and we have included it in this article. Look for more of our e-mail discussion with John McCreesh in Part 2 of this story, coming soon.

OpenOffice Is Best Choice

So far our examination of OpenOffice 2 has been at best only superficial. And we like what we see (except for the file problem set forth above and the pasting problem mentioned below). If you can live with office software without a grammar checker, that does not read PDF files, and that has a weak-change case feature, OpenOffice 2 is a good office software choice.

There is a reservation to that, however. We have been experiencing some problems with pasting in OpenOffice 2. If we cannot resolve that pasting problem we likely will recommend that people do not use OpenOffice 2.

Nevertheless, OpenOffice 2 is a legally-free download. It's easy to install. So, you might as well download it, install it, and make your own decisions about OpenOffice 2. (Download links in the Resources section at the end of this article.)

On the other hand if you want office software that includes a grammar checker and a decent change-case feature, then you might want to give WordPerfect Office a try.

More About OpenOffice

In November and December 2003 we published an overview of OpenOffice 1.1 and three OpenOffice 1.1 tutorial/how-to articles. The three tutorials are basic and seem still to apply for the most part to OpenOffice 2.

And the November 2003 OpenOffice 1.1 overview article for the most part still applies to OpenOffice 2. Plus, it has a little more depth and detail than today's glimpse of OpenOffice 2. So, you might want to take a look at it for more information about OpenOffice and its component modules.

We have not had a chance to look over any OpenOffice 2 books yet. Nevertheless, some good OpenOffice 1.x books are listed in the Books part of the Resources section at the end of this article. They generally, for the most part, should be applicable to OpenOffice 2 also.

OpenOffice 2 Helps Migration from MS Windows to Linux

GNU-Linux is a better operating system than is Microsoft Windows. It also is much less expensive than is MS Windows.

However, one thing that holds many people back from migrating from MS Windows to Linux is their dependency on Microsoft Word and other Microsoft Office components. OpenOffice 2 levels that playing field.

Other than a few things mentioned above such as a grammar checker (and the file-truncating and pasting problems), OpenOffice 2 is as good as MS Office. Moreover, OpenOffice 2 is very compatible with the Microsoft Office user interface -- the look and feel of MS Office. And OpenOffice 2 can read and write MS Office file formats (-- well, it is supposed to be able to read and write MS Office file formats).

The release of OpenOffice 2 should see even more people fleeing from Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft products to the GNU-Linux operating system and to open source software.

Once an open-source project really gets rolling, as has OpenOffice.org, it is tough for closed-source developers to beat it -- even the Microsoft Goliath. As you have noticed at this OpenOffice 2 level we still are viewing Microsoft Office as the standard and looking to see how OpenOffice 2 matches up against the standard. It would not be surprising at all if by the time OpenOffice 3 is released that OpenOffice is the standard and people will be looking to see if Microsoft Office comes up to the OpenOffice standard for office suite software.

Figure 2. MS Word 2000 Desktop in MS Windows 98 SE.

Take a look at the OpenOffice Writer desktop in Figure 1 on page 1. Notice how similar the two desktops appear.

Article Index

Introduction

OpenOffice Beats Microsoft Office

Migrating to OpenOffice from Microsoft Office

What's Missing in OpenOffice

OpenOffice Is Best Choice

More About OpenOffice

OpenOffice 2 Helps Migration from MS Windows to Linux

A Note from the OpenOffice.Org People

Resources

Office on the Linux Desktop

OpenOffice 1.1 -- A Complete Office/Productivity Software Suite for GNU-Linux, FreeBSD, MAC, MS-Windows, Unix, and more

Books

The OpenOffice books listed below will help to show you why OpenOffice is as good as MS Office. And they describe and help you to use OpenOffice. StarOffice is a commercial vesion of OpenOffice. Thus StarOffice books should be helpful to OpenOffice users.

We have not had a chance to look over any OpenOffice 2 books yet. However, these OpenOffice 1.x books should be helpful in the meantime. Before buying any of them, however, you might want to check to see if there is an updated or OpenOffice 2 version availabe. StarOffice 7 is based on OpenOffice 2. StarOffice 6 is based upon OpenOffice 1.

There are a few good MS Offiice and WordPerfect Office books listed too. Because OpenOffice, MS Office, and WordPerfect Office are so similar in so many ways, you might them helpfull too.

The Linux books listed below will help to show you why Linux-based, GNU operating system is a better operating system than MS Windows. And they describe and help you to use much of the free software that comes with most Linux-based distributions.

Most of the book links listed below lead you to Web pages about the books that also, there, have links to things such as Tables of Contents and sample chapters. The sample chapters are free and well worth reading.

  • Some Interesting OpenOffice Books

OpenOffice.org 1.0 Resource Kit, Solveig Haughland and Floyd Jones, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-140745-7. $40.

OpenOffice.org Writer: The Free Alternative to Microsoft Word, Jean Hollis Weber, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00826-0. $25.

Special Edition Using StarOffice 6.0, Michael Koch, Que. ISBN: 0789728338. $36


StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite Companion, Solveig Haughland and Floyd Jones, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-038473-9. $40.

Sams Teach Yourself OpenOffice.org All In One, Greg Perry Sams, ISBN: 0672326183. $30.

Taming OpenOffice.org Writer 1.1, Jean Hollis Weber, ISBN 0957841981. PDF Download $10. Printed $25


  • Some Interesting MS Office and WordPerfect Books

Managing Data with Excel, Conrad Carlberg, Que, ISBN: 0789731002.$35.

Manage Your Money and Investments with Microsoft Excel, Peter G. Aitken, Que, ISBN: 0789734281. $25.

Microsoft Office 2003 for Healthcare, Ahmad Hashem, Que, ISBN: 0789732114. $30.

Pivot Table Data Crunching, Bill Jelen, Michael Alexander, Que, ISBN: 0789734354. $30


Special Edition Using WordPerfect 12, Laura Acklenand Read Gilgen, ISBN: 0789732432. $40.

Using Microsoft Office 2003 (Special Edition), Bott and Leonhard, Que, ISBN: 0-7897-29955-5. $40

VBA and Macros for Microsoft Excel, Bill Jelen, Tracy Syrstad, Que, ISBN: 0789731290. $40.


  • Some Interesting Linux Books

Acing the LINUX+ Certification Exam, Patrick Regan, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131121553. $88

Beginning Linux Programming, 3rd Edition, Matthew and Stones, (Foreword by Alan Cox), Wiley. ISBN: 0-7645-4497-7. $40

Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base, Linux Standard Base Team, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-145695-4

Building Clustered Linux Systems, By Robert Lucke, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-144853-6. $50


Novell Certified Linux Engineer (Novell CLE) Study Guide, Robb Tracy, Novell Press, ISBN: 0789732033. $60

Expanding Choice: Moving to Linux and Open Source with Novell Open Enterprise Server, Jason Williams/Peter Clegg/Emmett Dulaney, Novell Press, ISBN: 0-672-32722-8. $30


Fedora 4 Linux All in One, By Aron Hsiao, Sams, ISBN: 0672327074. $40.

Fedora 4 Unleashed, By Paul Hudson, Andrew Hudson, Bill Ball, Hoyt Duff, Sams, ISBN: 0672327929. $50.


Knoppix Hacks - 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools, By Kyle Rankin, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00787-6. $30


Linux Bible, 2005 Edition, Christopher Negus, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-7949-5. $40

Linux Desktop Garage, By Susan Matteson, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-149419-8. $30

Linux Desktop Hacks - Tips & Tools for Customizing and Optimizing your OS, By Nicholas Petreley, Jono Bacon, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00911-9. $50

Linux in a Nuthsell, 5th Ed., Siever, Figgins, Weber, Love and Robbisn, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00930-5. $45

Linux Kernel Development, 2nd Ed., Robert Love, Novell Press., ISBN: 0672327201. $45

Linux Network Architecture, By Wehrle, Pahlke, Ritter, Muller, and Bechler, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131777203. $50


Linux Programming by Example: The Fundamentals, Arnold Robbins, , Prentice Hall PTR, ISBN: 0131429647. $40

The Linux Process Manager: The internals of scheduling, interrupts and signals, By John O'Gorman, Wiley, ISBN: 0-470-84771-9. $35

Linux Quick Fix Notebook, By Peter Harrison, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131861506. $40


Linux Troubleshooting Bible, Christopher Negus, Thomas Weeks, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-6997-X. $30

LPIC-1: Linux Professional Institute Certification Study Guide (Level 1 Exams 101 and 102), Roderick W. Smith, Sybex, ISBN: 0-7821-4425-X. $60


Mandrakelinux Discovery 10.1 - Your First Linux Desktop, By Mandrakesoft, Mandrakesoft, ISBN: 2-84798-085-7. $64

Mandrakelinux PowerPack 10.1 - The Full Power of Linux Desktop, By Mandrakesoft, Mandrakesoft, ISBN: 2-84798-086-5. $87


Official Fedora Companion, Nick Petreley, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-5836-6. $20

Operating Systems, 3rd Edition, Deitel, Deitel, and David, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131828274. $103

Optimizing Linux Performance: A Hands-on Guide to Linux Performance Tools, By Phillip Ezolt, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131486829. $50


Point & Click Linux!, By Robin Miller, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131488724. $30

Principles of Network and System Administration, 2nd Edition, Mark Burgess, Wiley, ISBN: 0-470-86807-4. $50


Running Linux, 4th Ed., Welsh, Dalheimer, Dawson, and Kaufman, O'Reilly, ISBN, 0-596-00272-6. $45

Sams Teach Yourself Unix in 24 Hours, 4th Ed., Dave Taylor, ISBN: 0672328143. $30

SUSE Linux 9 Bible, Justin Davies, Roger Whittaker, William von Hagen, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-7739-5. $40


Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds, David Brickner, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00754-X. $25

Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd Edition, Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00213-0. $50

Understanding the Linux Virtual Memory Manager, Mel Gorman, Prentice Hall PTR, ISBN: 0131453483. $60


UNIX Shells by Example, 4th Edition, By Ellie Quigley, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 013147572X. $50

Windows and Linux Integration: Hands-on Solutions for a Mixed Environment, Jeremy Moskowitz and Thomas Boutell, ISBN: 0-7821-4428-4. $50

Resources


  • OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org

Instructions for Downloading and Installing OpenOffice.org 2.0

OpenOffice.org 2.0 System Requirements


OpenOffice.org 2.0 Office Suite Guide to New Features

OpenOffice.org 2 - Product Description

OpenOffice.org 2.0 Features


OpenOffice.org Documentation Project

(user guides, FAQs, how-tos, samples, templates, and training materials)

OpenOffice.org Free Support

(free community support, commercial support and training, books, and general community resources)

OpenOffice.org Business Development Project

(information on businesses providing services, support and development on OpenOffice.org and a mailing list where you can look for and make contacts with potential partners and customers)


Groupware

Open Clip Art Library


  • OpenOffice Chat and Help
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