Oracle Abandons OpenOffice, Focuses on MySQL

In yet another sign of the changes wrought by its purchase of Sun, Oracle said that it would no longer offer a commercial version of the Open Office productivity suite for sale. The company is not completely giving up on open source software, however.

So where should users look for the future of Open Office? Oracle revealed plans to transition the website to “a purely community-based open-source project.” Oracle Chief Architect Edward Screven noted that the company would still support standards such as ODF (Open Document Format).

Why is Oracle moving away from Open Office? "Given the breadth of interest in free personal productivity applications and the rapid evolution of personal computing technologies, we believe the project would be best managed by an organization focused on serving that broad constituency on a non-commercial basis," Screven explained.

In contrast, Oracle will maintain its commitment to Linux and MySQL. These technologies, Screven noted, have been widely adopted by commercial and government customers. Why would Oracle support some open source technologies and not others? Observers speculate that the company may be seeing lackluster sales of OpenOffice licenses ever since it acquired Sun. Sun sold the open source office productivity software suite under the name Star Office.

It appears that Oracle acted quickly, once making this decision. Chris Kanaracus, reporting on the story for IDG News, noted that “a number of links on its website related to Open Office were dead on Friday.”

If that’s a sign that the software powerhouse is pulling its support, then anyone interested in its Oracle Cloud Office product has cause for concern. Released in mid-December of last year along with Oracle Open Office 3.3, the two products were billed by Oracle as the industry’s “first complete, open standards-based office productivity suites for desktop, web and mobile users.” Now, all links to these two products on Oracle’s website apparently lead to 404 error pages.

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