Feeds

Hard-up OpenOffice whips out begging-cap website

Coders seek new sugar daddy

Website security in corporate America

Hamburg-based open-source project OpenOffice will embark upon a major fundraising campaign this week to defend itself against a looming shutdown.

On Wednesday a new website will be launched with many donation options, spokesperson Andreas Jäger told The Register: "The organisation will also look for a major investor, but one that fits the product."

After the split with their main sponsor, Oracle, in June, the brains behind OpenOffice decided they wanted to continue as an association. A sudden death of OpenOffice would be disastrous, the organisation says. Their software is used worldwide, not only by private individuals, but also by many administrations and small and medium-sized businesses; the package is downloaded 1.5 million times a week.

German company StarDivision developed the application set as the proprietary software suite StarOffice back in the '90s. When Sun Microsystems purchased the code in 1999, it pretty much became part of a battle with Microsoft's Office Suite, during which its source code was released.

After Sun was bought by Oracle, the OpenOffice developer community cut ties with the company. Former OpenOffice developers started to work on their own fork of the suite, called LibreOffice. Earlier this year, LibreOffice announced its first stable release. Major commercial contributors to the code include SuSE, Red Hat and Canonical.

In April this year, Oracle said it would move OpenOffice to a purely community-based open-source project and would no longer offer a commercial version of the software. "Given the breadth of interest in free personal productivity applications and the rapid evolution of personal computing technologies, we believe the OpenOffice.org project would be best managed by an organisation focused on serving that broad constituency on a non-commercial basis," said Edward Screven, Oracle's chief corporate architect.

Despite competition from its own ranks, OpenOffice will now continue. "OpenOffice.org, more than any other open-source software, stands for the free internet and open access," supporter Klaus Eck, founder of eck-kommunikation, said in a statement. "Supporting OpenOffice.org doesn't just mean helping any software; it means taking a stand for free internet."

OpenOffice intends to radically change the product. It will no longer be a MS Office rip-off, Martin Hollmichel of Team OpenOffice.org promised: "We have been going after the competitors for too long, instead of really focusing on the needs of the user. Now that we are free we can change that." ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.