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OpenOffice.org 3.0 Release Trips up Community's Web Site

The release of a new version of the OpenOffice.org productivity suite hit a snag Monday when the community experienced Web site problems that made downloading the suite extremely slow and at times impossible for users.

The OpenOffice.org Community released OpenOffice.org 3.0, a new version of the open-source productivity suite that competes with Microsoft Office. However, a note on the community's Web site Monday apologized for problems with the site, attributing them to demand for the new suite that was higher than expected.

"Apologies -- our website is struggling to cope with the unprecedented demand for the new release 3.0 of OpenOffice.org," according to a note. "The technical teams are trying to come up with a solution."

A spokeswoman for OpenOffice.org's public relations firm confirmed the problems Monday, saying that while people have been "successfully downloading" the suite all day, "there are times when the servers get overrun due to volume."

OpenOffice.org set up a temporary landing page for users until site issues have been fully resolved, she added. Though the URL is different, it looks the same as the regular OpenOffice.org page.

As of about 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the OpenOffice.org site was working very slowly, although several different language versions of OpenOffice.org 3.0 -- including English, French, German and Italian -- were available for downloading from the site. Older versions of the suite also were available for download.

OpenOffice.org is a freely available and open-source competitor to Microsoft Office. The 3.0 version of the suite makes it more extensible for users, allowing them to add third-party features from an OpenOffice.org repository to the suite, which offers basic productivity, spreadsheet and presentation software, according to the OpenOffice.org community.

New add-on features available for OpenOffice.org 3.0 are support for business analytics and the ability to import PDF (Portable Document Format) documents. There is also a feature for creating hybrid PDF documents, which have the ODF (Open Document Format) attached to the PDF document. ODF is the file format for documents that OpenOffice.org uses; it is recognized as an international standard by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization).

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