I was out of the office most of the day so didn't have a chance to link this earlier...

The Apache OpenOffice Project today announced the availability of Apache OpenOffice™ 3.4, the first release of OpenOffice under the governance of the Apache Software Foundation.

Apache OpenOffice is the original open source office productivity suite, designed for professional and consumer use.

"With the donation of OpenOffice.org to the ASF, the Foundation, and especially the podling project, was given a daunting task: re-energize a community and transform OpenOffice from a codebase of unknown Intellectual Property heritage, to a vetted and Apache Licensed software suite," said Jim Jagielski, ASF President and an Apache OpenOffice project mentor. "The release of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 shows just how successful the project has been: pulling in developers from over 21 corporate affiliations, while avoiding undue influence which is the death-knell of true open source communities; building a solid and stable codebase, with significant improvement and enhancements over other variants; and, of course, creating a healthy, vibrant and diverse user and developer community."

Apache OpenOffice is the leading open source office productivity suite, with more than 100 million users worldwide in home, corporate, government, research, and academic environments, across 15 languages.
As indiciated, this is the first release of OpenOffice since the Apache project began. Much of the work between then and now has been to bring the community that was already established around OpenOffice.org forward, including our participation at IBM. We hired "the Hamburg five", five developers who created the original Star Division project that was acquired by Sun and later Oracle before becoming an Apache podling project.

As discussed in previous blogs about the work IBM is contributing to OpenOffice, we have much to do on the road ahead. We have yet to merge our contributions from IBM Lotus Symphony into the project (stay tuned on that) and the community is discussing the next Apache release vehicle for the project. Meanwhile, Symphony continues to ship and be supported as part of Notes 8.5 and on its own at Symphony.Lotus.com. Once there is an Apache version that includes our contributed code and other enhancements, IBM will begin supporting an IBM edition of Apache OpenOffice.

This release is a great opportunity to see the future of desktop productivity alternatives to Microsoft. It also marks a basis for other communities to draw from the master OpenOffice source, hopefully uniting those desktop productivity alternatives. As Redmonk's Stephen O'Grady said in today's announcement,
"[T]he first release of OpenOffice 3.4 as an Apache project marks an important new chapter in the life of a landmark project. Following months of effort, the open source productivity suite is now licensed and built with the intent of courting a large population of users, developers and ISVs worldwide."
Footnote: eWeek incorrectly states that IBM have discontinued Symphony. This isn't the case as you can see at the Symphony website. eWeek seems to have also taken the angle that this is some kind of competition with LibreOffice, with a "let the games begin" conclusion. My take is actually that this is where the games should end, but I realize that takes much more than a sentence on my blog to make happen. Thankfully, IBM is 100% committed to bringing together those that want to provide a viable desktop productivity open source approach, and you see many IBMer names on the volunteer list responsible for today's OpenOffice 3.4 release.

Link: The Apache OpenOffice Project Announces Apache OpenOfficeTM 3.4 >

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