- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2006

The folks over at the NeoOffice software project, which is developing a Mac version of the open-source OpenOffice productivity suite, will let you download a Beta version of their new 2.0 “Aqua” Beta — which has much more of a look-and-feel of a Mac program, according to screen shots, than its predecessor. Cost is $25, which gives you an advance look at one “draft” of what should be a free software program when it releases.

Interesting. You pay to get a preview — bugs and all — of software that you’ll eventually be able to get for free. The goal is to help fund development, but it seems a bit heavy-handed. Why not just make it “donationware”?

Meanwhile, Microsoft, according to C-Net’s news.com, will ask you to pay $1.50 to download and test the Beta 2 version of Office 2007, beginning next week. At least the cost is 1/42nd of the NeoOffice price, and it’s for software you’ll have to pay maybe 200 times for at retail.

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