It appears that LibreOffice and OpenOffice will remain separate. Currently, there is no plan to merge the two projects back together, and LibreOffice will not be renamed a fourth time, according to a vague statement by The Document Foundation:
The development of TDF community and LibreOffice is going forward as planned, and we are always willing to include new members and partners. We will provide as many information as we can with the progress of the situation. We are currently making every possible effort to offer a smooth transition to the project.
The Document Foundation also took the opportunity to define itself and what it strives for. TDF:
- Is an independent self-governing meritocratic Foundation, created by leading members of the OpenOffice.org Community.
- Continues to build on the foundation of ten years' dedicated work by the OpenOffice.org Community.
- Was created in the belief that the culture born out of an independent Foundation brings the best in contributors and will deliver the best software for the marketplace.
Last week, database giant Oracle announced its intention to move OpenOffice.org to a purely community-based open source project and to no longer offer a commercial version of OpenOffice. Oracle became OpenOffice's principal contributor when it acquired Sun Microsystems last year.
Back in September 2010, the OpenOffice.org project separated itself from Oracle, christened itself The Document Foundation, and renamed the actual OpenOffice.org suite of programs to LibreOffice. The new foundation then invited Oracle to rejoin their new community by applying for membership, and also asked it to donate the OpenOffice.org brand.
OpenOffice was once called StarOffice, but is now called LibreOffice. Right now, it looks like the OpenOffice brand will end up falling by the wayside.
The Document Foundation released LibreOffice 3.3, a fork of Oracle's Open Office open source office suite, in January 2011. The LibreOffice 3.3 release followed Oracle's Open Office 3.3, which came out in December 2010. LibreOffice is available for download on Windows, Mac, and Linux.