OpenOffice's future uncertain in light of Sun-Oracle deal

By Justin Mann on April 29, 2009, 7:14 PM
Advocates for the continued development of OpenOffice have been busy this week, coming up with plans and ideas as to where the open-source suite should head once the Oracle-Sun merger is complete. Some are calling for Oracle to make the suite independent, while others want to see the company roll up their sleeves and dive into development on their own. Oracle, however, has declined to comment on what they have planned.

As the head of marketing for OpenOffice, John McCreesh, has issued a public statement saying that the future of OpenOffice is leading it towards becoming an independent project. He believes that having it completely detached from Oracle, both legal and in development terms, would be beneficial for OpenOffice in that it would enable them to find their own source of revenue and dictate future development on their own.

Others call for a different approach, claiming that Oracle's backing could make potential partners take it more seriously and become a stronger rival to Microsoft, as opposed to simply a free alternative. Ultimately, itís all up to Oracle. Each proposition has its own benefits, but working independently certainly feels like the 'right' model for an open-source community.

User Comments: 4

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DarkCobra said:
Unreal . . . the first really decent free alternative to MS Office and all of a sudden a merger threatens its future. I hope they keep it as is and simply continue to make it better. However, I fear they'll tinker with this till they break what isn't broken or start charging some ridiculous amount for it in an attempt to compete with MS. We shall soon see.
space_cowboy said:
To those that say "they want to see the company roll up their sleeves and dive into development on their own", should look at the software they aquired over the years and did exactly what you are wanting for Open Office. I worked for Oracle for 4 years and there is one thing I learned and still hold true today. The ONLY product that Oracle really manages well, are their databases... and that it! All other software that they've aquired and started "Oraclizing" (as I call it) ends up being F'd up beyond recognition. Larry is all about dominance in the market and who's got the most toys. He could really care less about the quality of the toys.
DarkCobra said:
That was my same fear above . . . sad huh?
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