OpenOffice releases final version of 1.1

The OpenOffice.org group after several months of testing released the final version 1.1 of its free open-source productivity suite Wednesday.

Version 1.1 offers enhanced compatibility with rival Microsoft's Office and is loaded with new features, such as the ability to export documents to Adobe Systems' PDF (Portable Document Format) and presentations to Macromedia's Flash format, OpenOffice.org said. The product also offers improved XML (Extensible Markup Language) support, the group said.

OpenOffice.org version 1.1 succeeds version 1.0, which was released in May last year. OpenOffice.org issued updates for 1.0 about every four to six weeks and started releasing early versions of 1.1 several months ago. The code is now solid enough to call it a final release, said OpenOffice.org Community Manager Louis Suarez-Potts.

"People in the community have tested and proofed it. It is extremely stable and we feel comfortable that this can be downloaded by individuals, companies, everybody," he said. The OpenOffice.org developer community includes Sun Microsystems employees, volunteer developers, marketers and users, according to the group.

OpenOffice.org Version 1.1 shares much of its source code with Sun's StarOffice 7.0, which is being finalized, Suarez-Potts said. Sun charges for StarOffice, while OpenOffice.org is free. For the fee, StarOffice buyers get support, training and a database, Suarez-Potts said.

OpenOffice.org Version 1.1 includes applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. It is available for Windows, Linux and Solaris in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Japanese as a free, 70M-byte download and also ships with various Linux distributions, according to Suarez-Potts.

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