The OpenOffice team has been very busy this year, and not longer after releasing 2.3 to the public they have announced a beta for version 3.0 of their software. The team is inviting people to install OpenOffice 3.0 beta and begin evaluating it, looking for feedback and trying to track down bugs.

Version 3.0 has many refreshes over the existing versions, such as an interface update and a host of new features in the individual programs. The biggest jump of all will be their support for the ODF 1.2 standard as well as support for reading Office 2007 and Office 2008 files. The newer Office suites default to a format that not only rendered OpenOffice unable to open them, but earlier versions of MS Office as well. Should they get editing functions in as well, OpenOffice could suddenly become a much more attractive option to people using MS Office 2003 or earlier. You can read more about the suite in the feature list, or, even better, download it and give it a try.