OpenOffice: Future Uncertain

Apr 22, 2009

Florian Effenberger is co-lead of the international marketing project. Our sister publication Linux-Community asked him how the deal between Sun and Oracle would affect OpenOffice.

Florian Effenberger talking about at CeBIT Open Source 2009.

LinuxCommunity: Will the paid OpenOffice developers become unemployed because of the takeover of Sun by Oracle?
Florian Effenberger: Very few details about the takeover are known at this time. Many analysts are of course speculating, but right now I have no information regarding developers' jobs in OpenOffice. Personally, I don't foresee any serious danger for the further development of OO.o. Firstly, and Oracle for sure is aware of this, OpenOffice has an important place in the world of free software. Secondly, there are very many free developers and companies actively involved in the project.

LC: Will the current developments influence the next release of OpenOffice 3.1?
FE: No. The current delay is because of technical reasons and has nothing to do with the takeover. The second release candidate is due to be published in a few days and shortly after that version 3.1 will be officially released.

LC: Do you personally believe in Oracle's intended financial engagement in OpenOffice or StarOffice?
FE: I think that Oracle knows how important OpenOffice is. If further development takes place under the roof of Oracle or somewhere else, however, is difficult to say at this moment.

LC: Which chances/dangers do you see for OpenOffice from the deal?
FE: OpenOffice is a free, open source software. Voluntary members will only be indirectly affected by the takeover because OpenOffice is independent and belongs to no one exclusively. Looking at things positively, the discussions about a possible takeover of Sun are finished and things have calmed down. Of course the takeover can be seen as a great chance to further the development of OpenOffice. I'm sure that all involved are aware of this and I'm looking forward to the joint future we all can share.

Florian Effenberger has been an open source evangelist for many years. He is co-lead of the international marketing project as well as a member of the management board of the non-profit Deutschland e.V. He is also a frequent contributor to a variety of professional magazines worldwide.

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