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KOffice 2.0 available for early adopters

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KOffice, the often overlooked challenger in a productivity suite rivalry championed by Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, rolled out version 2.0 Thursday.

The release is intended for developers, testers and early adopters the development team warns, and shouldn't be used in production. While it adds a sizable pack of improvements to KOffice, it lacks several of the features baked into the previous build, KOffice 1.6 - perhaps quite appropriate for a KDE-oriented major release. The development team says to expect the missing features to reappear with release versions 2.1 or 2.2.

Applications included in the open-source productivity suite are the KWord word processor, KSpread spreadsheet calculator, KPresenter presentation manager, KPlato project management software, Karbon vector graphics editor and Krita raster graphics editor. The chart application Kchart was made into a plugin so it can rolled into all KOffice apps.

The biggest highlight is that all KOffice apps are better integrated with each other than even before. "For instance Kword can embed bitmap graphics, Krita can embed vector graphics and Karbon can embed charts," the development team states.

Each application now sports a GUI layout better suited for wide screen displays. Sidebar tools can also be ripped out and be treated as windows or be redocked.

KOffice 2.0 uses Open Document Format (ODF) as its native file format to make sure documents work with both OpenOffice and MS Office.

KOffice 2.0 is available on Linux with KDE or GNOME as well as Windows and Macintosh shortly. A Solaris version is expected less shortly. The team plans to release three maintenance versions in June, July and September for version 2.0, and then push out 2.1 in October.

Packaged binary versions are now available for download now for Ubuntu, Gentoo, and OpenSuSE. ®

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