The Internet, September 28, 2010 – The community of volunteers who develop and promote OpenOffice.org, the leading free office software, announce a major change in the project’s structure. After ten years’ successful growth with Sun Microsystems as founding and principal sponsor, the project launches an independent foundation called “The Document Foundation”, to fulfil the promise of independence written in the original charter.
The Foundation will be the cornerstone of a new ecosystem where individuals and organisations can contribute to and benefit from the availability of a truly free office suite. It will generate increased competition and choice for the benefit of customers and drive innovation in the office suite market. From now on, the OpenOffice.org community will be known as “The Document Foundation”.
Oracle, who acquired OpenOffice.org assets as a result of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, has been invited to become a member of the new Foundation, and donate the brand the community has grown during the past ten years. Pending this decision, the brand “LibreOffice” has been chosen for the software going forward.
Personally I’ve been using OpenOffice a lot more recently on my Mac, although iWork is my main workhorse. However, I’ve had it installed on various machine over the last few years and found it has been getting better and better.
But if you don’t use OpenOffice you might be thinking, so what? Should you care about the future of OpenOffice? I think there are a couple of reasons:
- OpenOffice might be part of the back end of another product you use; and
- If you care about the adoption and use of The Open Document Format (ODF).
Like many others, I hope Oracle does the right thing here and hands over the OpenOffice brand.