The truth is that there are no equivalent alternatives to Microsoft Office due to its enormous versatility. But users often don't need all of its features, and many make do with Google Docs or iWork for Mac/iOS. A rival based on free software is OpenOffice, which is quite popular after years on the market. Unfortunately, OpenOffice could come to an end, as a lack of developers would force its closure.
The current project started in 2002, and its full name is Apache OpenOffice, a derivative of OpenOffice.org. Its last update dates from the end of 2015, so it is clear that it is not very up to date. In 2011 many of the program's developers switched to a derivative called LibreOffice, and funding dried up. Well, now the closure of OpenOffice is being considered due to the difficulties in keeping it up to date.
There are still many users of OpenOffice on Windows, Mac and Linux, since a name with so much history always attracts. In July of this year, a serious security problem arose in OpenOffice, which was corrected the following month. This incident has made Dennis Hamilton, one of those responsible for OpenOffice, reflect on whether the project can really go ahead under current conditions.
For now no decision has been made, but there has been talk of initiating an orderly closure of the project. A final version would be released, but users would be directed to other supported options. The code would remain available to the public as before, and email addresses would be maintained to listen to offers regarding the use of the OpenOffice brand.
There is no doubt that thanks to LibreOffice users have a great alternative based on free software. But it would be a shame if an office suite as popular as OpenOffice came to an end While Microsoft Office keeps getting new features, OpenOffice is barely able to fix the bugs of security.
The reality is that, with about six developers available and very little funding, it does not seem easy to maintain OpenOffice if new volunteers do not appear or a company sponsors it. No decision has been made so far, but the OpenOffice shutdown is something that could happen in a matter of months in the worst case.
What do you think of this topic? Do you still use OpenOffice, or do you not care if it closes due to the existence of good competing options?