InfoWorld's Test Center picks the best open source productivity software and mobile tools of 2011
OpenOffice.org desperately needed a rejuvenating shot in the arm, and it's come in the form of the LibreOffice project, a variant of OO.o developed by the Document Foundation (the folks behind the ODF standard). LibreOffice launches faster, runs more reliably, and sports an incrementally better set of features than OpenOffice.org -- but what's most important is the accelerated pace of development for the product. The newest features show that much more attention to improving performance and making the product more like a business tool and less a me-too effort.
The latest version, 3.4.2, adds many useful functions: improved HTML export; better text rendering in Linux; better support for OLE links when importing an Excel document (crucial if you're migrating away from Microsoft Office); fewer dependencies on Java for import/export and other tasks (another annoying shortcoming in OpenOffice.org); and a nonmodal Firefox/Chrome-like "Find" dialog. They're good additions all around.
LibreOffice's spelling/grammar checking is still primitive compared to Microsoft Office, and there's still a lot of clunkiness to the program. But the whole package is finally headed in the right direction.
The Bossies 2011 index:
This slideshow, "Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source desktop and mobile software," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in applications, mobile technology, and open source at InfoWorld.com.