Thursday, October 20, 2005 2.0 released.

The new version of has been released today. If you're one of those people with a dodgy copy of Microsoft Office 2000, then get rid of it, and download this. Its available for Windows, Linux and OSX. Its open source, and its free. It can import most MS Office files, save in MS Office formats, and uses the latest open file format, Open Document. Open Document has been specified by the State of Massachussetts as one of their approved file formats for public documents, and this will be roled out by early 2007. Critically, Microsofts own, semi-open document format, based on XML, like Open Document, has not been approved. This is a huge boost for the adoption of open standards. Have you ever been in the situation where you need to open a document created by an old version of Word, or, even worse, and old version of Microsoft Works. These formats aren't published, so can't be replicated. Open Document is also supported by the following:

Abiword 2.4
Star Office

It is also expected that it will be supported by the Lotus and Corel office suites in the near future.

Thanks to the decision in Massachussetts, Microsoft is now under pressure to provide Open Document support. If it does not, it could find its user base slipping away. On the other hand, if they free users from the tie to MS Office, then they also free many of them from the ties to Windows. What a decision for them to make.