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I have downloaded and installed the OpenOffice.org beta release, version 1.9.62. You get a tar.gz file via the OOo website, however, it expands to a number of rpm files. Using rpm2tgz in Gentoo and expanding the resulting tar.gz files did not work! I had also to download "rpm" and load the files using -nodeps (as of course rpm "thought" that I didn't have /bin/sh which of course I do).
The good news is that it seems worth it!
A welcome improvement to the user interface is that the icons on toolbars support transparent .png files. This means that you can substitute your favourite KDE and Gnome icons for the horrible OOo icons and cheer up the way it looks! There is a Word Count in Writer which gives two figures, total words and words in selected area. About time, too!
Fontwork is here, this enables text to be bent into a number of shapes, and made 3D, and so on. It's quite basic, not as powerful as some I've worked with, but that makes it a LOT easier to use. Swings and roundabouts there!
Loads of other shapes have been added, including Flowchart shapes.
Oh, and WE HAVE A DATABASE! It's just called "base" and I haven't tried it yet, but if it's up to the standard of everything else, Microshaft have well and truly been blown out of the water!
Start time has not really improved, but once started, the program seems to respond quicker, things like screen updates seem a lot faster.
As far as Bugs are concerned, well there's a few things on a 3D menu that don't actually do anything yet, and the Help has an annoying habit of jumping to the back when you double click on an option, meaning that you have to click on its entry on the taskbar in order to summon it to the front again. I've not really had time to spot any others!
In conclusion, expect OOo 2.0 to be a great program, and then 2.0.1 after the final bugs are squashed to be a real Microshaft-beater!