New LibreOffice version released on the Mac App Store, for a fee

Alfonso Maruccia

Posts: 21   +7
Staff
Cutting corners: The LibreOffice Foundation is offering a paid version of the eponymous productivity suite to Apple users. The money will be used to fund the project's development, or rather to "educate" organizations about the added value of professional services and official distribution channels. Or so they say.

Shortly after the release of LibreOffice 7.4.1 Community Edition, The Document Foundation has started a new paid distribution of the office suite on the Mac App Store. LibreOffice remains free, but Apple users will pay a price to get their software from Apple official channels, while skipping the download of important dependencies which are available in the aforementioned community edition.

The Document Foundation is the non-profit that promotes and manages LibreOffice, the open source productivity suite which started as a fork of OpenOffice. The suite includes a word processor (Writer), a spreadsheet program (Calc), a presentation program (Impress) and other tools designed to be a FOSS alternative to commercial office suites, but first and foremost the ubiquitous Microsoft Office.

In announcing the release of LibreOffice on the Mac App Store, LibreOffice marketing head Italo Vignoli said that TDF wants "to support end users who want to get all of their desktop software from Apple's proprietary sales channel." The previous App Store version of LibreOffice was managed by Collabora, while LibreOffice will now charge a "convenience fee" of €8.99 to directly support development of the project.

Perhaps the missing piece following that reasoning is that Apple offers a free office suite with macOS, the iWork suite is pretty competent for basic productivity and also offers MS Office alternatives called Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

According to Vignoli, the new paid release is an evolution over the previous situation and it reflects TDF's new marketing strategy: the Foundation is focused on the release of LibreOffice community-developed version as always, while "ecosystem companies are focused on a value-added long-term supported version targeted at enterprises." Organizations must be educated to support the FOSS project by choosing the LibreOffice version optimized for deployments in production while backed by professional services, Vignoli added.

The "positive" effects of this new strategy will not be visible for some time, TDF said, but a paid version of LibreOffice for App Store users is just the beginning of a journey in that direction. Furthermore, the App Store edition of the productivity suite will not include a Java runtime because external dependencies are not allowed by Apple. The paid LibreOffice is based on the same source code of the standard release, which will continue to be available as a Windows, Linux or macOS (Apple Silicon or Intel) package. This is the version all users – even the Mac ones – should probably get.

Permalink to story.

 

Dsirius

Posts: 233   +444
No, Apple iWork suite is not entirely free, it is included in Apple's laptop or computer expensive price as part of MacOS.

Also, Apple do not want, like and in fact discourage software manufacturers to offer Apple users free software, because they do not get any money from the 30% tax of 0 (zero) from a free software on their (cr)app store.

Another way of Apple sabotaging free software is by warning users if they want to install open source software outside Apple store as being "potentially harmful". Recently, Microsoft is doing the same.

LibreOffice is one of the best office suites, which is open source, so really free with no strings attached, and would have been on all computers if it had not been sabotaged by Microsoft and Apple, as they are doing for so long time.
I use this office suite since it was called StarOffice and OpenOffice, more than 15 years ago, and I donated money to support the project after Oracle acquired Sun and tried to control OpenOffice devs.

The developers rejected Oracle attempts, left OpenOffice Project and founded LibreOffice foundation and continued to develop the office suite under LibreOffice new brand.

I encourage Apple's users to install LibreOffice directly from their site or from TechSpot and to donate 9 USD directly to them, so Apple could not grab 30% of the same amount from the Apple's App Store.
 
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Julio Franco

Posts: 8,887   +1,806
Staff member
No, Apple iWork suite is not entirely free, it is included in Apple's laptop or computer expensive price as part of MacOS.

I don't disagree on your support for LibreOffice, but what the story means to say is that if you're already on a Mac, then iWork is a free download.
 

Dsirius

Posts: 233   +444
I don't disagree on your support for LibreOffice, but what the story means to say is that if you're already on a Mac, then iWork is a free download.
Agree, and from this point of view, Apple's software embedded in MacOS is quite impressive regarding quality and performance. They charge users more, but at least Apple is offering quality products and most of them are very easy to use, or the learning curve is faster.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,292   +2,883
Why not? Apple charges "outrageous" prices for cables, phones, computers...
customers must like it because they pay it so why not make a few bucks off
of them? <wink>
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,070   +8,100
As good as it is, I'm surprised that LibreOffice is still free. I made the switch about 10 years ago and never looked back to MS Office and I have no regrets, in fact a nominal one time fee of $20-50 would not be out of line considering the benefits from it.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,331   +6,320
Libreoffice seems to be getting MORE buggy over the last couple of months. I'm seriously thinking about finding an alternative that doesn't shove the godforsaken "ribbon" down my throat.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 565   +486
Libreoffice seems to be getting MORE buggy over the last couple of months. I'm seriously thinking about finding an alternative that doesn't shove the godforsaken "ribbon" down my throat.
TBH, I use Libre for a long time, even through I have free licence by MS Office provided in work, but I have never experienced ribbon UI being forced on upgrade or on a fresh installation.
To buggy, it certainly feels more stable than 7.2 or 7.3, but I mainly use Writer and Calc, so I can't really comment on Base, Draw or other.
 

Dsirius

Posts: 233   +444
TBH, I use Libre for a long time, even through I have free licence by MS Office provided in work, but I have never experienced ribbon UI being forced on upgrade or on a fresh installation.
To buggy, it certainly feels more stable than 7.2 or 7.3, but I mainly use Writer and Calc, so I can't really comment on Base, Draw or other.
Same here, LibreOffice for me is stable and reliable, no ribbon UI issues. And I made and use even some macros in Writer for my work.
 

GoldenGoat

Posts: 73   +74
Some people only want to download apps on the Apple Store because Apple checks the app to make sure it's not dangerous. Many apps are hosted on content delivery networks that could have been compromised and most people don't check the SHA key or even know how to do it. I don't have a problem with Apple getting paid for this service when it's optional. I don't like it on iOS because the user doesn't have a choice, but on Mac they do (at least for now). I don't like on iOS, Apple being able to tell me what apps I am allowed to use, but I don't have a problem with people paying for security and convenience when it's a user choice. And if Libre Office can get a little money in the process, that is cool with me too.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 565   +486
Some people only want to download apps on the Apple Store because Apple checks the app to make sure it's not dangerous. Many apps are hosted on content delivery networks that could have been compromised and most people don't check the SHA key or even know how to do it. I don't have a problem with Apple getting paid for this service when it's optional. I don't like it on iOS because the user doesn't have a choice, but on Mac they do (at least for now). I don't like on iOS, Apple being able to tell me what apps I am allowed to use, but I don't have a problem with people paying for security and convenience when it's a user choice. And if Libre Office can get a little money in the process, that is cool with me too.
Those test are, for sure, automated, and certainly not perfect by any stretch.
I kinda get the idea that people who use LO, are capable of typing LibreOffice in search bar and clicking the first link that leads to the official LO site.
There is even a lovely Donate button right next to it.