IBM is joining the OpenOffice.org community, making initial code contributions that it has been developing as part of its Lotus Notes product, including accessibility enhancements.
The comapny will alsol be making ongoing contributions to the feature richness and code quality of OpenOffice.org, and will leverage OpenOffice.org technology in its products.
"In the seven years since Sun founded the project, OpenOffice.org has fueled and filled the need for document data and productivity tools that are open and free," says Rich Green, executive vice-president: software at Sun Microsystems.
"Open source software and ODF are having a profound impact around the world, with numerous communities and organizations coming together to support these initiatives and governments, corporations and schools standardising on the software. We look forward to working with IBM and the other members of OpenOffice.org to ensure that this momentum continues. We invite others to join us in the community and participate in building the future as OpenOffice.org and ODF continue to gain popularity across the planet."
Zoaib Hoosen, Software Group Executive at IBM South & Central Africa, adds: "IBM is very pleased to be joining the OpenOffice.org community. We are very optimistic that IBM's contribution of technology and engineering resources will provide tangible benefits to the community membership and to users of OpenOffice.org technology around the world.
"We're particularly pleased to be teaming with the community to accelerate the rate of innovation in the office productivity marketplace. We believe that this relationship will improve our ability to deliver innovative value to users of IBM products and services. We also believe that the collaboration will lead to an even broader range of ODF-supporting applications (ISO 26300) and solutions that draw from the OpenOffice.org technology."
Others involved in the project or distributing the code were equally enthusiastic about IBM's step.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, comments: "We are excited about IBM joining Sun and other contributors to the OpenOffice.org community in pushing development of OpenOffice.org and the OpenDocument Format. We are firmly committed to help set, drive and promote open standards like the ODF world-wide to free all users from any dependency on single vendors and proprietary software.
"The OpenOffice.org community is showing that it is possible for large, competing companies to collaborate and deliver extraordinary value to all of their users."
OpenOffice.org is distributed with Ubuntu.
OpenOffice.org is the leading open-source productivity suite. It includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, database, and other modules; it uses the ODF as its native file format as well as fully supporting other common file formats (including Microsoft Office). The software runs on all major platforms, including Windows, Vista, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, and is available in over 100 languages. OpenOffice.org is fully interoperable with other popular suites and may be used free of charge for any purpose, private or commercial; the license is LGPL.
Since the project's creation by Sun Microsystems in 2000, nearly 100-million people have downloaded the product; and thousands contribute to it. As an international team of volunteer and sponsored contributors, the OpenOffice.org community has created what is widely regarded as the most important open-source project in the world today.