First look: OpenOffice.org 3.0 developer build for Windows

A free office suite that’s a breeze to get going

Installation

To install the developer build double click the binary file's icon, which you must trust is from its original source.

The process itself is very straightforward and should proceed something like this:

  • The installation will prepare itself
  • Choose an installation folder (the default is on the Desktop)
  • The installation wizard will begin
  • Agree to the Lesser GPL licence terms
  • Choose whether you want the complete or custom installation
  • Want to use OOo by default for all office files? Select them here. It's okay to leave them blank
  • The installation will proceed
  • The setup steps will then begin where you can enter a username, whether to receive online updates, and to register the software

Once the installation has completed, you will land on a OOo-dev menu where you can begin using the office applications.

Using OpenOffice.org

How easy was that? In a few minutes you can install OpenOffice.org in Windows and start using it for productive work. However, do keep in mind this is a development build and should not be relied upon the same way "stable" releases are.

Use the new OOo-dev 3.0 menu to launch the individual applications like Writer, Calc, and Impress, the presentation application.

In particular, the spreadsheet application Calc is looking like a significant improvement over the previous version.

If you feel OpenOffice.org does not perform the best on your computer, don't be alarmed.

I've been using this office suite since it was available as the proprietary-only StarOffice by StarDivision. Back in 2000 Sun Microsystems open sourced the code base to create the OpenOffice.org project.

After all those years, unfortunately one thing hasn't changed much and that's OpenOffice.org's speed. Even this latest development build, while better than previous versions, has a "heavy" feeling to it.

My clunky P4 2.8GHz machine with 512MB of memory, while frequently task intense, still struggles to kick OpenOffice.org into gear. Once the app is loaded into memory it does perform noticeably better. Let's hope Sun and other contributors can polish its performance some more before the final 3.0 release due in September.

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