has to be one of the most prominent and elaborate open-source projects out there just outshone by a handful of others like the Linux operating system and perhaps the Firefox browser given its undeniable success and rate of adoption. Now with version 3.0 of the suite, OpenOffice is set to challenge Microsoft Office more than ever before.

Among its core new features and improvements, OpenOffice 3.0 comes with support for the upcoming version of the ISO standard OpenDocument Format 1.2 (ODF), it can read and write files using Microsoft Office's binary file formats (.doc, .xls, etc.), and now adds support for Office 2007/2008 files. Mac OS X Support is now native. The spreadsheet application in OOo comes with a Solver add-in and has received a notable increase from 256 columns to 1024. Improved graphical functionality and user interface is also part of the upgrade.

The official release of 3.0 is just today, however the suite was available earlier during the weekend from a number of (also official) mirrors. We reported on this during our weekend tech reading post. You can download the suite for Windows, Mac OS X, and other operating systems and languages now.