Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
KDE KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8
Another contender in the cross-platform free office suite space
- Easy installation
- Sluggish on Windows XP, the odd crash (but it is an alpha version)
KOffice looks like it has a great future on all three popular desktop operating systems. The developers need to focus on optimisation and stability for it to be a real hit.
One of the release goals of the next-generation KDE office suite, KOffice 2, is to make the package run on Windows and Mac OS X in addition to Debian Linux.
Just this week KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 was the first KOffice release with binary packages for all three operating systems, and TechWorld decided to give it a run to see how it is taking shape before the final 2.0 release.
The good news for people new to KOffice is the integrated installer makes downloading and installing the required software a breeze, even on Windows.
Linux users are well acquainted with downloading many packages at a time from the Internet in order to install software, but this experience is less frequent on Windows, where users tend to download a monolithic package or install software from a DVD.
KDE's Windows team has done an excellent job of making the KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 installation as seamless as possible. Simply download and run the installer script and all the required packages will be calculated, downloaded from the repository, and installed on the computer. TechWorld tried the installer with Windows XP.
Take a look at the screenshots to get an idea of how easy it is. The only manual step is to choose the install location.
What you get
KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 ships as a suite of applications.
In addition to the familiar word processor (KWord), spreadsheet (Kspread) and charting (Kchart), and presentation applications (KPresenter), KOffice has a wealth of tools for content design, manipulation and display.
For the creative professional, there's Krita a fully-fledged graphic design and image manipulation tool, Karbon14 a Scalable Vector Graphics editor, and Kivio for flowcharts and diagrams.
Also included is Kexi for database development (touted as "Microsoft Access for Linux"), and KPlato for project management. Other tools are KnetAttach, a network folder wizard, Kformula for mathematical formula editing, and a thesaurus.
According to its developers, Alpha 8 is a work in progress and the release introduces improvements in almost all the components as well as in the common infrastructure. With all the applications undergoing big changes — bug fixes and new features.
With KOffice 2.0 under "heavy development" it is not meant to be used for any real work and may crash at any time.
Among the technology developments are improvements to the OpenDocument format, particularly the text shape that is the base of KWord thanks to the full-time work of the NLNet-sponsored Girish Ramakrishnan. KOffice can now save and load images and KPresenter has support for playing sounds. This means that a presentation will be able to contain sounds that will be played during a presentation.
KPresenter also now has support for notes.
However, according to the developers not all of the new technologies will be fully implemented in the first release, 2.0.
KOffice 2.0 Alpha 8 is quite sluggish on Windows XP, even more so than OpenOffice.org on the same computer. This performance is unlike that for Linux where KOffice is well regarded as being faster than OpenOffice.org.
As this is alpha software you can expect it to be a little unstable and the odd crash was experienced with this release.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Windows Lite: what it is and when it might be released
- Freeview relaunch 'FV' website
- Intel unveils the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
PCW Evaluation Team
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies