The latest version of Open Office, the open source alternative to Microsoft Works, was released to a very warm reception -- so warm that the traffic generated by the release crashed the company's servers. And it seems that while Microsoft was busy making their suite a proprietary desktop application their competitors were busy creating a program that will integrate seamlessly with our cloud computing needs. The new release can read 2007 Word documents, as well as many other standards and has a fairly advanced PDF creation tool built in.
However, what may be more important for developers and users of Web 2.0 applications and services is that it is completely compatible with XHTML and MediaWiki. The integration with these languages could make Open Office a vital mid-point for businesses looking for a bridge to their Web applications -- offering the power of desktop software, as well as the ability to work seamlessly with the next generation of codes and platforms. Furthermore, with the FireFox like power of extensions, Open Office also has the ability to synch with cloud collaboration tools such as Google Docs. Given the steps that it has taken with this latest release, a browser based version of the suite may not be to far into the future.