LibreOffice will be available for download from 25 January. Finally people will be able to use an Office suite that’s not backed by Microsoft, Google, Oracle or IBM. LibreOffice uses Java and is derived from OpenOffice, both of which are part of Oracle’s empire. Given its track record on Java and the whole open community development process, Oracle is probably not the best company to support major open source initiatives, such as OpenOffice.
In a blog post today Forrester analyst John Rymer, wrote: Oracle’s strategy for Java will change the Java ecosystem that has existed for 11 years:
- Oracle will direct Java innovation.
- Competition will shift to frameworks.
- Fewer young developers will learn Java first.
Open source is supported by commercial developers, and software companies should be praised for their help in maintaining and adding code to open source projects. But Oracle has yet to prove itself as an open source innovator. A rival to OpenOffice will benefit all open source projects, by reminding commercial software companies that they don’t “own” open source.