Future Ubuntu Releases Will Ship with LibreOffice an OpenOffice Fork

By Lucian Parfeni   October 2nd, 2010 10:23 GMT

Earlier this week a number of OpenOffice developers have created the Document Foundation a new group, based around OpenOffice.org, which would oversee the development of LibreOffice, an OpenOffice fork which would focus on making the office suite better adhere to the open and free software principles.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, has said that future versions of the operating system will ship with LibreOffice. He made the commitment at the launch of the Document Foundation and the announcement of the fork.

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, is actually one of the Document Foundation's backers along with a large number of companies and organizations.

The Document Foundation has support from organizations like the Free Software Foundation, the Open Source Initiative, the Open Source Business Foundation, but also from other projects like GNOME.

Companies such as Google, Novell and Red Hat have also offered their support.

Once the project gets underway, you can expect it to land in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora as well as the SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE.

A beta version has already been made available and the hope is that it will spur involvement with the project which has been languishing in recent years.

Oracle became the owner of OpenOffice with the acquisition of Sun, but the company generally has little interest in open source software. It effectively killed the OpenSolaris project earlier this year.

Many worry about the fates of MySQL and Java, two other open-source technologies now owned by Oracle.

Thus, the decision was made to be on the safe side and continue the OpenOffice project separate from Oracle.

However, Oracle has been invited to join the Document Foundation, though it hasn't shown any interest in doing so. Some from the new foundation even proposed that Oracle donate the copyrights it holds over OpenOffice. It is highly unlikely that Oracle will be a part of the Document Foundation.

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