Perhaps because they were not satisfied with the progress of the Oracle-sponsored effort, the folks at Canonical have decided to include Libre Office in the latest builds of Ubuntu 11, which is due in three months.
Ubuntu has a fairly rigorous schedule for release, with not much ever delaying the efforts. OpenOffice, since the leaving of many of its long time developers for the greener pastures of Libre Office, has been like the chicken without a head, running all over the barnyard in a last ditch effort to accomplish something.
The last I took note, OpenOffice was sitting at 3.3 Release Candidate 10! What is up with that? Can they not decide if it is good enough to release and want to be able to fall back on the excuse of a non-certified product if any large flaws are found? About RC4 I looked at the changelogs, and there were still many things listed – perhaps they have so many things screwed up that they are not sure when they will be done.
Nonetheless, it is important for a finished Linux effort to have finished extras as well, and the Libre Office is certainly looking more completed.
Also, the problems with Oracle on many fronts are making those wanting to be associated with the name few and far between – it’s looking like the only ones wanting to be associated are those with a direct monetary interest.
We’ll all get to judge the completeness of Libre Office when Natty Narwhal comes in April, but until then, it can be downloaded for either Linux or Windows at the Document Foundation website. They are currently on RC4, which is also a bit high, but I’m betting that 3.3 Release will be done about the time OpenOffice 3.3 RC19 is contemplated.
If the looks of the websites are any indicator, it also looks as though Libre Office 3.3 is going to pack much more into its default download than OpenOffice ever has, and I’m not speaking of bundled Java.