OPEN SOURCE Microsoft spoiler LibreOffice has released a major new edition, with a whole crop of new features and tweaks.
The Document Foundation, custodians of the brand, announced LibreOffice 6.2, which brings a tabbed interface for the first time and even more file format compatibility.
This is great news for Microsoft, which recently launched a series of adverts saying how you really shouldn't buy Office 2019, though this is probably not what they had in mind.
Although many cringe at the Microsoft "ribbon" interface, it seems to be popular enough to justify being replicated as the NotebookBar, though haters will be pleased to know it's an optional feature that can be toggled.
Writer (documents/Word) gets a much faster 'track changes' feature, as well as letting you paste from Calc spreadsheets, straight into a Word table. There are also improvements to the Librelogo programming interface.
Calc (spreadsheets/Excel) adds multivariate regression analysis (no, us neither) and more statistical measures, along with data validation for custom formulas. A new find and replace for regular expressions, called REGEX has also been added.
Draw (presentations/Powerpoint) allows granular control to animation motion paths by dragging, plus there's new text drawing styles, and a new Table sub-menu for those spreadsheet imports.
LibreOffice Online, the Office 365 equivalent, has been simplified for mobile devices and updates to responsiveness as well as the on-screen keyboard. There's also Vereign-compatible authentication, document signing and a new infobar for signing.
Of course, that's scratching the surface, there's loads of smaller additions, tweaks and a crock of bug fixes, which you can read in minutia at the LibreOffice website.
LibreOffice has a passionate user base, particularly amongst the Linux community, where it is the default productivity suite. However, its also available to many other operating systems, including Windows (x86 and x64) Mac OS and Android.
It's also available as an Ubuntu Snap if virtualisation is your vibe (even if you're on a different Linux flavour), and of course, if you're not otherwise covered, there's also the Online version.
Enterprise customers are advised to stick to the Long Term Support (LTS) version, numbered 6.1.5, but for most of us, LibreOffice 6.2 is available, free, as ever, from today. μ
Oh and it'll also help give aural pleasure
But it might still not be enough to make virtual reality super appealing
And a ridiculous competition
Now you can talk to your silly-looking earbuds too