I haven’t really seen a lot of news about the OpenOffice.org 2 Beta release. It seems to me like a pretty important thing :P.
Anyway I popped by the OO site recently and grabbed the beta (which is actually version 1.9.79). Anyway, first thing to note is the loading time has unfortunately not really changed much since the 1.1 range. Next thing you’ll notice is the look. It looks a few million times better than previous versions, and actually looks like a native Windows application now. The toolbar icons all look much clearer - I never really liked the previous version’s icons much at all, they were all very unclear as to what they did.
Next up, Calc now supports 64000 rows!! This was my biggest gripe with previous versions - they were limited to 32000 before, which pissed me off no end when trying to work with large chunks of data. For me, this is the biggest improvement I could have hoped for :). I also found defining custom number and date formats somewhat easier than before.
I can’t say I’ve used Writer all that much, so I can’t comment too much on that, but I did note that the Print Preview has been properly overhauled. The Print Preview seemed to have been an issue when trying to convert people :).
I can’t say I care much for the new Open Document Formats, since most of my work requires me to use Excel and Word files, so I just write to those formats whenever I save. Lets see if MS will start to support the format in Office now that it’s been recognised and approved as a standard.
Overall, I guess the real version 2 can only get better :).