Less than four months after it announced Oracle Cloud Office, Oracle Corporation has said it would “no longer offer a commercial version of Open Office”.
The news came in a press release issued on 15 April 2011 that is mainly about the open source version, OpenOffice.org. It says nothing specific about cancelling Cloud Office but this seems a logical inference.
When I wrote about these products last December (see “Oracle Open Office goes vaporous”), I referred to an earlier product also called Open Office, saying:
The 1990s’ product was for a while touted as a potential competitor to Lotus Notes. It went nowhere. Given the greater strength and quality of the competition today, the modern reincarnation of it may be headed for the same place.
I didn’t expect it to do so this quickly.
Care in the community
Oracle also now seems to be saying that it will put development and control of OpenOffice.org into communal hands. It gives no timescale for this.
The company is probably in talks over the matter with The Document Foundation, creator of the LibreOffice variant. IBM might also have a say. Its Lotus Symphony free software (another old name revived) is based in part on Open Office version 3.x.
I hope that whatever software results from this prolonged brouhaha is worth waiting for.