OpenOffice, one of the most notable alternatives to Microsoft Office, is on the brink of closing shop. Management behind the project have noted that many developers have chosen to work on LibreOffice instead, leaving the productivity suite behind on critical security fixes.
LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice that has proven more popular with developers for some reason. This, combined with the loss of sponsorship from IBM, has left OpenOffice without updates for a very long time. Vice president of the Apache OpenOffice project, Dennis Hamilton, started an email thread raising concerns about the state of the project; and mooted the idea of shutting everything down.
While the future of the project is still uncertain, OpenOffice will remain open source even if the developers abandon it. The current plan for its future would be to continue to host the downloads on Sourceforge, although Hamilton admits that he has no idea how long the site will support downloads. Hamilton’s email outlines the process for which shutting down the project would take, and it reads like management has run out of ideas to keep OpenOffice alive.
The closure of OpenOffice may be a great loss, but there are still other options for open source productivity suites. LibreOffice is benefiting from the number of developers jumping ship and has been producing a stream of constant updates; while there is an increasing number of options for mobile devices.