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Intel joins The Document Foundation, pushes LibreOffice

Redmond pines for bygone WinTel hegemony

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Intel has begun distributing the open source LibreOffice suite via its online AppUp Store, and has joined the board of The Document Foundation (TDF) – a decision that will have many of the Redmond old-guard fuming.

"I have been using LibreOffice from day one for presentations at conferences and for data analysis," said Dawn Foster, open source community lead at Intel, in a statement. "Our engineers have worked with the LibreOffice codebase to optimize it for Intel hardware. Adding it to the AppUp Center is an obvious extension, and will provide an exciting feature for all Ultrabook users."

While LibreOffice already has a cozy relationship with the main open source vendors such as SUSE and Red Hat, it has lacked a major commercial member. The bagging of Intel, formerly one of Microsoft's closest allies in the technology world, is a major coup, and TDF board member Florian Effenberger said he was "thrilled" with the news.

LibreOffice for Intel's AppUp Store

One in the eye for Microsoft Office (click to enlarge)

The AppUp download is a special five-language (English, German, French, Spanish and Italian) edition of LibreOffice for Windows. The free download runs on Windows 7 and XP systems, and was developed with the support of SUSE.

"We welcome Intel to The Document Foundation, and look forward to working with them," said Dr. Gerald Pfeifer, senior director of product management at SUSE. "It's great to see Intel providing LibreOffice through an exciting new channel so that more and more users can experience LibreOffice on Windows."

LibreOffice recently completed the third major overhaul to its code base since TDF divorced itself from its OpenOffice origins after Oracle started rubbing people up the wrong way. It's currently planning Android, iOS, and cloud builds, and is the most dynamic open source rival to Microsoft's cash-cow Office applications suite. The fact that Intel is not only distributing it but also contributing financially to its development must rankle many at Redmond. ®

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