Abiword, AbiCollab

Abiword slowly improves as a lightweight work processor. In theory, Abiword works on several operating systems, including Windows, several flavors of Linux or Unix, MacOs, BeOs, or something called QNX. Its developers now have a service called AbiCollab, which stores documents in the cloud, and allows collaborative editing. It is a competitor to services like Google Docs, and has the advantage that you can edit the documents offline. What seems unfortunate is that Abiword’s default file form is not ODF, although it can save to about 20 formats, including ODF (.odt) and Office Open XML (.docx), and read from several of them.

Now that Oracle owns Sun, including the team that managed OpenOffice, and has started charging $90 for a plug-in to use ODF files in Microsoft Office, it would be good if projects like Abiword continue to improve, so people don’t feel so depended upon a single company.