Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002 2.0 Preview

Screenshot of Writer I’ve downloaded 2.0 Snapshot and installed it on my laptop. While it adds some nice new features, one thing that instantly struck me was the much-improved interface – it now feels like a proper Windows application and not just a port. In fact it feels more Windows-like than MS Office 2003 does, which is dreadfully ironic.
Here’s a full size screenshot (185KB) which shows off the new interface. You’ll notice that the toolbars are now draggable and more closely match the behaviour of MS Office, and that it defaults to just 2 toolbars instead of 3. Many more are available though. The icons have been polished up and look more professional.
The interface isn’t all that has changed though. The big new feature is the addition of Base, a database application designed to compete with MS Access. I didn’t have much of a play with this but it did look very intuitive and could give Access a run for its money. Under Windows, it now uses Windows Installer.
I’m sure I’ll come across more new features as time goes on, but to summarise, this looks like a very promising release and will give Microsoft’s Office team something to lose sleep over. There are builds for Windows, Linux and Solaris, but sadly no Mac OS X build.


  1. The secret shame of the geek; I too have I.E in my quick launch bar.

  2. I actually keep buttons for the applications that I do not use often in my Quick Launch bar. The ones I regularly click on appear in Windows XP’s “Most Used Applications” thingy in the Start Menu.

  3. Why have the quick launch bar then?

  4. Neat. I just put Open Office 1.something on my step-mum’s laptop – she’s only just started using MS Word and has made the switch no problem so version 2 should be a good progression for her.

  5. I was a poweruser of MSOffice 2000 with many complex documents.

    I start using OpenOffice 1.1.x in August in order to test it, for use on clients, and the feeling was a bit worse than Word 97 in certain aspects like the powerpoint equivalent and some .doc conversions like in vertical text, but completelly usable.

    I occasionalily tested the devellopment Oo 2 versions before but they had some problems.

    With this last release, after an initial test, I started using with almost no problem and… the feeling is that it is better than WS Office 2000.

    Houston! I think we have… a Firefox problem here!