The logo.
TechWorld reports that will soon be bundled with Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning, but I think that the news that OpenOffice plans to support plugins to extends its feature set is just as important.

OpenOffice will get "Firefox-like" extension capabilities by version 2.0.4, due this month, Schulz said. The suite's existing extensions platform will get a new and "definitive" extensions format, .oxt, which can work with languages from StarBasic to Java.

The optimistic side of me wants to believe that this extensibility will increase OpenOffice's market share[1], in my heart I do not believe that this will happen. Unlike Firefox, OpenOffice has an issue that extensions will not fix.

While I think one could make the case that part of the problem is the fact that OpenOffice does not market itself well (their presskit has not been updated in 4 years!), I am reasonably sure that the real reason is far more insidious.

Take the Mozilla browser and its most popular progeny, Mozilla Firefox. Why has Firefox managed to become the browser of choice of more than 1 in 10 web surfers? Why was it able to do what other browsers could not?

Firefox was able to confront Microsoft Internet Explorer, the leading browser, on two fronts. First, Firefox was more secure than Internet Explorer. Secondly, it had cool features like tabbed browsing that boosted productivity and warmed users' hearts.[2] As far as I can tell, OpenOffice has neither of these, although office suites generally have more features than most users (including myself) could ever possibly use, so the latter problem might not be as important. Still, if development on had begun earlier, it might have been able to take advantage of the period in the late 1990s when Office macro viruses were the bane of every large computing environment.

This is not to say that OpenOffice is without hope. If Microsoft Office keeps having zero day vulnerabilities and custom malware becomes the main tool of both corporate espionage and reconnaissance by hackers, OpenOffice just might have another shot. Still, the game is still clearly Microsoft's to lose.
[1] There are surveys that show OpenOffice's penetration in the business market to be as high as 14%. That is all nice and good, but I think it likely that a majority of those companies are using OpenOffice only because it both imports and exports Word documents. Based on some rudimentary Google searches using the "filetype:" modifier, I believe that very few people are publicly distributing files in OpenDocument format. I am also reasonably sure that most computer owners have never heard of OpenOffice.

[2] Yes, Opera also had these advantages, and even has some features that Firefox does not have. But Opera tried to use a paid licensing model, which did not work extremely well while Internet Explorer was free, and worked so poorly as Mozilla Firefox approached feature parity that they got rid of it.