LibreOffice at 4: How the OpenOffice Fork Is Forging Ahead

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2014-10-06 Print this article Print

VIDEO: Italo Vignoli, a director at the Document Foundation, discusses how the open-source LibreOffice Suite has evolved over the last four years.

In September 2010, the widely used, open-source office suite was forked by a new group called The Document Foundation (TDF). The Document Foundation built out a new suite called LibreOffice that aimed to excel beyond what OpenOffice had been providing and build the suite in a truly open and collaborative development process.

Four years later, LibreOffice is still going strong and continues to thrive. In a video interview with eWEEK, Italo Vignoli, one of the founders of The Document Foundation, talks about some of the surprises of the last four years and what lies ahead.

"We have been able to grow the community in areas where the community was not growing before," Vignoli said.

The Document Foundation has been able to attract contributions to LibreOffice from AMD and Intel as well as governments, including Saudi Arabia and France. Donations are the primary source of revenue for The Document Foundation and Vignoli said that the donations have been growing steadily over the years. That funding has enabled The Document Foundation to hire three full-time people and two part-time people, as well as supporting continuing developer efforts around LibreOffice.

One of the main areas of growth for LibreOffice is in competitive migrations away from other office suites, including Microsoft's Office. While The Document Foundation would like to see more people use LibreOffice, the plan is not for all users to totally abandon Microsoft Office.

"The objective is not to eradicate Microsoft Office from companies," Vignoli said. "The concept of migration is about giving an alternative to companies."

Watch the full video interview with Italo Vignoli below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.



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