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OpenOffice 3.2 - now with less Microsoft envy

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Time for a fluffing

However, what's perhaps most significant about this release may have nothing to do with the improved applications at all. Rather, it's the fact this will be last release before OpenOffice moves to its new owner Oracle, which finally closed its purchase of Sun Microsystems last month.

Oracle has pledged to continue OpenOffice and plans to keep the entire Sun team on hand, running OpenOffice as an independent business unit. Of course, Oracle clearly sees the online office suite as the future and plans to launch Oracle Cloud Office at some point. Whether that means OpenOffice will suffer neglect remains to be seen.

It would be nice to see Oracle do for OpenOffice what Microsoft is trying to do for its Office - integrate an online component - but do it without creating a massive vendor lock-in scheme.

Some might argue the future of office suites is all online with things like Google Docs or Zoho one day becoming the norm, but while document storage in the cloud is all well and good, editing documents in a browser is still nowhere near as pleasant or powerful as with dedicated software.

If Oracle can provide a first-rate connect-anywhere, edit-anywhere online office suite, it might have finally found something that can break Microsoft's stronghold on business productivity tools.

That's what I'd be looking for in follow on versions to OpenOffice 3.2. ®

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