The OpenOffice.org 3.0 productivity suite beta has now been released for testing. OpenOffice is seen as an open-source...
rival to Microsoft's Office suite.
New core features in the public beta release include a Start Centre, revamped icons and a new zoom control in the status bar, said the suite's backers, which include Sun Microsystems and IBM.
Other new features include Notable Calc improvements like a new solver component, support for spreadsheet collaboration through workbook sharing, and an increase to 1,024 columns per sheet.
In addition, the Writer program has an improved notes feature and offers displays of multiple pages while editing. There are numerous Chart enhancements, and an improved crop feature in Draw and Impress.
OpenOffice.org 3.0 will support the upcoming OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.2 standard.
The final version of the new suite is expected to be available this September.