Feeds

Hard-up OpenOffice whips out begging-cap website

Coders seek new sugar daddy

Boost IT visibility and business value

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." ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.