Open-Source LibreOffice Gets Commercial Support

Developers from SUSE Linux join the effort to provide support for LibreOffice, an OpenOffice fork.

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The open-source LibreOffice office productivity suite—a widely deployed application on Linux operating systems with development led by The Document Foundation—is gaining new backing today with the launch of commercial support from Collabora Productivity.

SUSE Linux has been one of the key contributors to LibreOffice since its inception in September 2010. LibreOffice got its start as a fork of the OpenOffice open-source collaboration suite that is now an Apache Software Foundation project. Key contributors to LibreOffice from SUSE Linux are now joining Collabora, including SUSE Distinguished Engineer Michael Meeks.

"I've moved from SUSE to Collabora Productivity—where I'll be working on turning the huge market opportunities around LibreOffice into great service for our customers, and improvements across the board to LibreOffice," Meeks told eWEEK.

Meeks said that he's pleased with how LibreOffice is doing from a quality and deployment perspective today. Using that as a base, Collabora will be able to provide commercial support for large-scale deployments.

"That will include an enterprise-enabled, long-term supported Collabora LibreOffice release, along with bug fixing and security updates," Meeks said. "For those clients requiring customization and fine-tuning, Collabora will offer consultancy services."

Additionally, Meeks added that Collabora will also partner with those in the community who have already invested in LibreOffice deployments to back-stop the support they already provide.

The Document Foundation recently announced that it would be benefiting from the support of Advanced Micro Devices. AMD is investing its resources to improve the Calc spreadsheet program to take advantage of new silicon innovations.

Growing the Business

LibreOffice as an open-source software suite is available today for free. The plan for Collabora Productivity—which is self-funded—is to find new business opportunities, both online and through partnerships with resellers and service providers.

"We're aiming for steady, organic growth both of ourselves and the wider LibreOffice ecosystem," Meeks said. "Collabora Productivity is here for the long term, and we have plenty of runway to build a sustainable business that delights customers."

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

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.