After being developed for two whole years, OpenOffice v2.0 has finally been released. OpenOffice is a 100% free “MS-Office” like java-based office suite that includes programs like Word, Excel, Publisher, Paint, and Access. These applications are completley opensource, which means it is legal and free for anyone to use. Many non-profit organizations have switched to using OpenOffice because it provides the same features Microsoft Office would, but at no cost to anyone.
“OpenOffice.org [2.0] is on a path toward being the most popular office suite the world has ever seen; providing users with safety, choice, and an opportunity to participate in one of the broadest community efforts [open source] the Internet has ever seen.” – Sun Microsystems President Jonathan Schwartz
This is a major update from the previous builds of v1.0 and now includes a much more powerful user interface and is packed with thousands of features including multi-pane views, floating toolbars, and better PDF creation support. OpenOffice (OO) is a cross-platform application that can be run on Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. (also available in 36 languages) OpenOffice was created independently, but is supported by Sun Microsystems, who now sells a program called StarOffice based off OO. Another step forward is the introduction of a new opensource file format called “OpenDocument”. OO will also have full support for reading MS Office file formats, so you won’t (or shouldn’t) have any issues when working with others. If you don’t want to spend a few hundred bucks on a Microsoft product then I recommend this as the best alternative. (100% free)