The first beta-test version of the OpenOffice.org 3.0 productivity suite was released on Wednesday, adding significant features such as improved Mac OS X support and support for the OpenDocument 1.2 standard.
Version 3.0 will be the first to run on Mac OS X using the standard Aqua user interface, rather than relying on the Unix windowing software X11, and will add partial support for Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) on Mac OS X, according to Sun, which is one of the driving forces behind OpenOffice.
The suite will be able to read files created with the Mac-specific version of Microsoft Office 2007 and 2008, and will also support existing read-write functions for other types of Microsoft Office formats. Improvements to the Writer component include the ability to display multiple pages while editing and improvements to the notes feature, Sun said. The Calc and Chart components also have new features.
The software is available for public download in US English on Windows, Linux, OS X and Solaris, but Sun warned that it is not considered suitable for production use.
The last final OpenOffice release was version 2.4 in March. The final version of version 3.0 is scheduled for September, according to Sun.