There's a new version of Linux's grandest office suite, but is it a major step forward or just another humdrum release with little to show? And most importantly, does it finally get the startup time down to an acceptable level?
Office suites lack glamour. They're perfunctory, practical and prosaic. They remind us of real work, mundane chores and things that need to be done. But that's also why they're essential and why OpenOffice.org is a vital part of the free software ecosystem, whether it innovates or not.
OOo 3.2 is a step in the right direction. Firstly, it's a lot faster. Version 3.2 of Writer launched more than 50% quicker than 3.1 in our tests, down to 3.4 seconds from around 7 with a fresh reboot. That alone makes a big difference, but the UI also seems to be more responsive. We used Writer exclusively over the last couple of weeks, and there's an almost imperceptible improvement in the on-screen typing latency, which can really help if you create a lot of words.
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