Open Office has 4th Birthday, Oct 13, 2004
OpenOffice.org is the most important open-source project in the world. These words, spoken by founder of GNOME and Novell Ximian CTO, Miguel de Icaza, on the occasion of the first anniversary of OpenOffice.org, are more true now than ever before. Today, four years after Sun Microsystems released the source code of its popular StarOffice to the open-source community, OpenOffice.org is widely seen as the future of open-source development and the key to its future.
As an international and multilingual project, OpenOffice.org gives everyone the freedom to participate in, learn about, and contribute to the project. And as a product, OpenOffice.org runs natively on Windows, Linux or Solaris, as well as every other major platform, and is available in over 44 supported languages. Usable by all, it is the invaluable tool in the modern office.
Tens of millions use the application daily; millions visit the project website monthly; thousands contribute to the project. There have been at least 31 million downloads since the project began. That volume does not count the millions registered by Red Hat, SuSE, or Mandrake Linux, which include OpenOffice.org in their distributions.
In the last year, city governments, such as that of Munich, Germany, to name but one of many, and federal administration offices, such as the French Minist√®re de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Industrie (MINEFI), chose OpenOffice.org for its technology, flexibility, and future, not
because it is free (gratis). Is the ministry happy with their decision? Representatives gave a keynote at the recent OOoCon, where they advocated OpenOffice.org and looked to a future with open-source software.
And what is that future? An application that bridges not just the closed- and open-source world but that also bridges the digital divide from Amsterdam to Zanzibar. An application that uses an internationally standardized file format and an open production process to give users perpetual right over their property.
The file format, an XML based implementation, is the open standard recently approved by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). By using the format, vendor lock in is impossible. People will choose OpenOffice.org or its commercial
derivations, such as StarOffice, on the basis of value, not because they have no choice.
That value is extensive, and it is set to grow. This spring, OpenOffice.org 2.0 will leap over every other office suite. For those users clamoring for an Access equivalent, it will have it. It will be more interoperable. And for those developers wanting more modularity and more responsiveness, 2.0 has that, too.
This coming year will be remarkable, and our door is open.
OpenOffice.org is both a open-source project and product. It is free. As one of the leading open-source projects, OpenOffice.org combines the worldwide efforts of developers and endusers to produce a complete office productivity suite that runs on all major platforms and in over 30 supported languages while being compatible with Microsoft Office. OpenOffice.org is sponsored by Sun Microsystems, Inc., and hosted by CollabNet.