LibreOffice, a fork of the open source OpenOffice project, has announced that it will be rolling out a web-based version of the productivity suite by the end of the year. The fact that there is a web-based version is not new, as the project had originally said that it was working on something two years ago.
Two companies, IceWarp and Collabora, have joined the effort to bring the web-based version of LibreOffice to reality. Both companies have issued a statement saying that they “will work alongside over a thousand existing LibreOffice contributors to implement the whole online editing portion of the software, including the server-side provided by LibreOffice, and the client front-end based on HTML5 technology. The result will be a fully mature server solution, which any other provider, individual, or project in the community can utilize for their applications and services.”
Collabora already offers an enterprise-ready version of LibreOffice, and IceWarp builds email servers for businesses. While IceWarp expects the web version of LibreOffice to be ready by the end of the year, although the Document Foundation (which oversees the development of LibreOffice) has not commented on when it will be finished.
The LibreOffice project began when Oracle bought over Sun Microsystems, and therefore took control of the original OpenOffice team. It maintains much of the base code of OpenOffice, although the new developers have taken steps to clean up the code. Nobody knows what took so long for the browser based version to get back on track.
The old OpenOffice was considered to be the best alternative to Microsoft Office, and it looks like this new web version of LibreOffice is preparing to go against Microsoft’s Office Online and Google Docs.
There is also apparently an Android version of LibreOffice in the works, but that has been going on since 2011, with no updates on when it will finally be launched.