Archive for March, 2008

March

29

by Kaj Kandler

OpenOffice.org Release 2.4 is now available for free download.

Curious about what changed?

Release 2.4 has improved

  • Ease of use for setting languages for selected text in multi language documents
  • The chart module with
    • improved label formatting and positioning,
    • regression charts,
    • and inverted axis
  • The presentation application (Impress) has added
    • 3d slide transitions
    • Pictures as slide background
  • The spreadsheet application (Calc) has added
    • Splitting text into separate columns
    • Start formula entry with “+” for faster data entry from the numeric key pad
    • Better flow when entering rows of data
    • Drag and drop cells and columns to move them
    • Performance for loading large spreadsheets
  • The word processor application (Writer) has added
    • more powerful regular expressions for find and replace
  • Update notification for application and extensions
  • Performance in general
  • Improved localization and spell checking for 10+ languages.

OpenOffice.org Ninja has an excellent introduction to new features in Open Office 2.4. Screencasts about the new features are coming soon.

March

12

by Kaj Kandler

According to InfoWorld, Walmart discontinued selling its $200 gPC from Everex in stores.

The $200 PC loaded with Google applications will continue to be available at the Walmart.com website.

As reason, Walmart’s spokes person, O’Brien said “The idea was to see if shoppers in our stores would respond as they do online to the offering. The answer is that customers did not respond to expectations, so we decided not to restock.” This is an interesting contrast to the many reports that the low cost, low energy PC has sold out in some stores and Walmarts pride to be able to manage inventory best. Also, Paul Kim, director of marketing at Everex, says “The sell-through [at Walmart stores] was brisk, I am surprised at the decision,” said Paul Kim, director of marketing at Everex.

Interestingly, O’Brian felt compelled to say “We did not ‘pull’ Linux from our shelves or make any kind of ‘announcement’ on this,” she said.

March

12

by Kaj Kandler

At ZDNet, Christopher Dawson compares NeoOffice vs. OpenOffice vs. Office 2008 vs. iWork. He obviously comprares them on Mac OS X, as GeoOffice or iWork and Office 2008 are special releases for the Apple Mac platform.

His report is influenced by his experience managing the IT for a school in Western Massachusetts. Chris concludes:

iWork is very slick and integrates well brilliantly with iLife. It’s easy to use, but powerful enough for serious users. However, it’s lack of compatibility with open file formats is of concern. Office 2008 is also slick and highly functional but not nearly as effortless to navigate. Even with academic pricing (iWork is priced around $10/license academic versus almost $70/license for Office), Office is a bit pricey and hard to justify when cheaper or free alternatives exist. OpenOffice for the Mac really isn’t worth a second look right now given its lack of integration and compatibility. NeoOffice has its niggles, but is generally a solid, easy to use office suite. Even if you choose iWork of Office, it should be installed on all of your users’ machines to ensure compatibility with their students. It could certainly stand alone, as well, but the relatively inexpensive iWork is a hard bit of kit to pass up.