The long anticipated KOffice 2.0 release is now available for Linux, Windows and Mac users!  Be advised that the KOffice folks say that this release isn’t actually considered stable, and is intended for developers and early adopters only, similar to how KDE 4.0 wasn’t a stable release.  KOffice 2 is a port to the new QT 4 and KDE 4 libraries, and has a couple cool new features such as better KOffice component integration and the switch to using ODF as the default document formats.  (In contrast, AbiWord only supports ODT and will not use it as the default format.)

KOffice 2 feels much faster than, and has more features than Abiword.  I also really appreciate that ODF is the default format for KOffice as this means that compatibility with documents should be perfect.  My only problem with using KOffice is that the list of required dependencies is considerably longer than it would be were I using KDE in place of Gnome, as KOffice is designed to use the KDE libraries.  The installation size for KWord on my Dell Mini 9 running Ubuntu 9.04 system (with a 4GB SSD) is 160MB compared to 26.3MB for Abiword or 186MB for Writer.  Note: the installation size of KWord would be much smaller were I running KDE, and the installation size of Abiword would be much larger were I not already running Gnome.

The KOffice 2.1 release is currently expected to be out later this year, which should be more stable and more appropriate for everyday use.

Click here for the official KOffice 2.0 release announcement.