Oracle Updates OpenOffice for On-Site, Cloud Deployments

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-12-15 Print this article Print

UPDATED: The alternative office application package competes in the on-site marketplace most often with Microsoft Office and on the Web with Google Docs.

Open-source advocates have been wondering where OpenOffice, Sun Microsystems' office applications suite alternative, was going to land following the acquisition of the company by Oracle. Now there's news on this front.

Oracle renewed its commitment to the product on Dec. 15 when it launched two rebranded professional versions of the package: OpenOffice 3.3 for desktops and laptops, and a hosted version, Oracle Cloud Office 1.0, for mobile devices.

Each of them is available in two editions: Enterprise ($90) and Standard ($50) for on-premises editions. Pricing for cloud deployment in an enterprise is handled on a per-seat basis.

OpenOffice in any form produces both Open Document Format (ODF) and Microsoft Office documents, including word docs, spreadsheets and slide show presentations.

The free version of OpenOffice is still available for download from the open source community at and remains so under Oracle's direction as its primary sponsor.

In 2002, Sun relaunched its professional version of StarOffice for a fee, which has evolved into Oracle Open Office. Besides enterprise features such as migration tools and enterprise connectors, it also offers indemnification, easier upgrading, and consistent releases and patches.

New features Oracle has added into OpenOffice 3.3 include enterprise connectors to Oracle Business Intelligence, Oracle E-Business Suite, other Oracle Applications and Microsoft Sharepoint, to enable integration into existing enterprise software deployments.

Cloud Office, previewed in September at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, enables Web-based collaboration, mobile phone and tablet document access, on-premise or on-demand deployment plus native integration with Oracle OpenOffice. It also can be resold by telcos and Internet service providers as customized deployments for home and business user bases.

The office app package competes in the marketplace most often with Microsoft Office and on the Web with GoogleDocs.

Pricing is a major differentiator. Microsoft Office 2010 is priced at $150 (home office and student), home office and business ($280) and professional ($500).

Editor's note: This story was updated to add detail on the free version of OpenOffice.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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