OpenOffice 2.4 released: Microsoft Office rival shows its teeth

Together with a brand new redesign, the Openoffice.org website also featured a brand new version of Openoffice.org. Version 2.4 of the open source productivity suite is only an incremental upgrade but paves the way for a more revolutionary version, 3.0, coming in September 2008.

Base, the Database component of Openoffice.org and probably one of the weaker links, now supports Microsoft Access 2007 and MySQL, Oracle JDBC and native HSQL databases interoperability have now been improved.

But the biggest change is the way OOO describes its filetype as ODF (short for OpenDocument Format) replaces the ubiquitous OpenDocument.

In addition, Openoffice.org's Calc now offers 9 new chart features including the addition of the regression equation to a regression curve while the presentation module, Impress comes with 3D slide transitions capabilities which suppport OpenGL technology as well.

OOO 2.4 now handles PDF better as well with the support of PDF/A-1, a new standard for long-term document retention while the OOO word processor comes with improved search and replace functionality

The list of new features in OpenOffice.org 2.4 can be found on the OpenOffice.org website.

On average, a new version of OpenOffice.org is released every six months and while the open source business suite has enjoyed tens of millions of downloads, it has yet to make serious inroads in the Corporate ecosystem.