April 4, 2007 5:50 AM PDT

New OpenOffice version includes security upgrade

The OpenOffice.org community has released version 2.2, including updates to OpenOffice's word processor, spreadsheet, presentations and database software.

OpenOffice.org describes its free software package as offering a "real alternative" to Microsoft Office 2007 and an easier upgrade path for existing Microsoft Office users.

The community also said it addressed security issues in the new version, which was released Friday. A number of vulnerabilities had recently been discovered in the suite. On March 21, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported two critical vulnerabilities--both of which required user interaction. Those vulnerabilities have been addressed in OpenOffice 2.2, according to an OpenOffice.org representative.

"OpenOffice.org 2.2 protects users from newly discovered vulnerabilities, where users' PCs could be open to attack if they opened documents from, or accessed Web sites set up by, malicious individuals," OpenOffice.org stated.

The organization said that in version 2.2, people will notice an improvement in the quality of the text display. For example, previously optional support for kerning, a technique to improve the appearance of text written in proportional fonts, is now enabled by default in 2.2.

The founding and principal sponsor for OpenOffice is Sun Microsystems. Open Document Format (ODF), the standard that supports OpenOffice, was adopted as an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard in May, effectively making it a global open standard.

However, rival open-format Office Open XML, developed by a group that includes Microsoft, is also pushing for ISO certification. On Monday, Office Open XML moved to the next stage toward gaining ISO certification: a five-month ballot by the national members of ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission standards body to see whether the standard should be awarded.

Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, the British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the United States Library of Congress all contribute to the Office Open XML project.

OpenOffice had already made headlines recently, with French members of parliament choosing Linux over Windows and California considering following Massachusetts in its adoption of ODF.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
OpenOffice.org, OpenOffice, OpenDocument Format, vulnerability, Microsoft Office

6 comments

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"a group of organizations" ?
"... Office Open XML,(was) developed by a group of organizations including Microsoft ...".

If history has taught us anything it's that Microsoft + any other company = Microsoft.

IMO, Office Open XML is just another MS format designed to lock people into MS Office.

Yes, OpenOffice.org is a "real alternative" to 2007 Microsoft Office and an easier upgrade path for existing Microsoft Office users."

Microsoft's actions would indicate that they know that, as well as a growing number of companies and government agencies.

MS Office isn't going to die, but it's very likely that their marketshare has no where to go but down.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
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OK
"Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, The British Library, Essilor, Intel, Microsoft, NextPage, Novell, Statoil, Toshiba, and the United States Library of Congress all contribute to the Office Open XML project"

Everything with Microsoft is bad. Go Sun Microsystems! They are not a big multinational org
Posted by Gasaraki (183 comments )
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Real alternative to MS Office XP but not 2007
Am someone who likes eye candy apps and this argument alone is enough to make me stay with MS Office 2007.
Posted by TheJae (20 comments )
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95% Plus Market Share - X In The "Productivity Tools" Space = IBM's...
... (upcoming)) Lotus Notes 8.0

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/products/product4.nsf/wdocs/hannover" target="_newWindow">http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/products/product4.nsf/wdocs/hannover</a>
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
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