OpenOffice 3.0 beta Released for Mac OS X has released the first beta of OpenOffice for Mac OS X. This version doesnit need to run in the X11 environment as version 2.x did; instead it runs natively on the Mac.

"The cool thing is, while the market leading office suite vendor dropped VBA support and the Solver feature, recently introduced limited VBA support and includes a powerful Solver component.

"In addition, integrates well with the Mac OS X accessibility APIs, and thus offers better accessibility support than many other Mac OS X applications. Finally, people like 3.0 for Mac OS X because of its very good stability and performance. Reportedly, some Mac users have switched to just because of its extremely good stability, said.

The announcement also pointed out that not only is read and write support included for Microsoft binary file formats (.doc, .xls and .ppt) but OpenOffice can also open files created with Microsoft Office 2007 for PC or Office 2008 for Mac (.docx, .xlsx. and .pptx)

The full feature list and download page are at the Website. The Mac file size is 167 MB and is for Intel Macs only.

The group has said that they estimate the final release to be in mid September, 2008.