(Gawkwire.com) At the start of its tenth anniversary year, and with over three hundred million downloads recorded in total, the OpenOffice.org Community today announced the release of the latest version of its personal productivity suite. OpenOffice.org 3.2 gets to work faster, offers new and improved features and functionality, gives better compatibility with other office software, and fixes bugs and potential security vulnerabilities.

OpenOffice.org 3 is the world’s leading free personal productivity software. The basic components, which include word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, formula and database capabilities, can easily be supplemented by extensions downloaded from the OpenOffice.org extensions repository. In just over a year from launch, OpenOffice.org 3 had recorded over one hundred million downloads from the central download site alone, and the number continues to rise. Users range from individuals with a single PC to corporates with many tens of thousands of users.

OpenOffice.org 3.2 new or improved features include:

faster start up times
improved compatibility with open standard (ODF) and proprietary file formats
improvements to all components, particularly the Calc spreadsheet, with over a dozen new or enhanced features
the Chart module (usable throughout OpenOffice.org) has had a usability makeover as well as offering new chart types

Chris Goddard of Affiliorama.com is looking forward to the new release: "Four years ago we were an entrepreneurial start up, and the zero-cost OpenOffice.org was an obvious choice purely on financial grounds. We continue to use OpenOffice.org now for other reasons: its stability and functionality has kept up with our fast paced work environment; and because it’s open source, finding good troubleshooting advice, or customizing the program is incredibly straight forward. We regularly promote OpenOffice.org as a viable Microsoft alternative to our more than 30,000 members, and we hope the new version encourages many more to follow our successful example."

Florian Effenberger, Marketing Project Lead of OpenOffice.org, explains: "Some people are currently locked in to other personal productivity tools – maybe by corporate IT policy, or by tie-in to other legacy software. For everyone else, we want OpenOffice.org to be the 2010 office software of choice, and 3.2 takes us another step towards that goal".

All users are encouraged to upgrade to the new release. Anyone still using OpenOffice.org 2 should note that this version was declared ‘end of life’ in December 2009, with no further security patches or bugfixes being issued by the Community. Enterprise support with longer lifecycles might be available from distributors as well as commercial vendors, like Oracle, the project’s main sponsor. For details, see here.

A full guide to new features is available at here. The security bulletin with full details of the potential vulnerabilities fixed will be published here one day after this announcement.

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