The OpenDocument web site is not longer accepting new posts. Information on this page is preserved for legacy purposes only. For current information on ODF, please see the OASIS OpenDocument Technical Committee.

Fee or Free?

Free and open office productivity software have been developed to be on par with their proprietary cousins. The functionality and user interface are even similar. Free and open source programs for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of office applications basically have their foundation in, a project spearheaded by Sun Microsystems. IBM and Google are also involved in this project to build a more solid standard for the associated programs.

Sun is the primary contributor of code for It all began when Sun bought over German outfit Star Division, the original developer of the StarOffice desktop program, which was later turned into an open source project.

Meanwhile, IBM is making its presence felt in the free office productivity software market with Lotus Symphony, which originated from the company's SmartSuite office productivity software that did not quite stir up competition in the commercial world. It is now offering its open source versions developed under the consortium.

As for Google, it is offering open source desktop productivity programs as part of its Google Pack software. It supports the same document formats in its online word processor and spreadsheet service.

Besides the three main players, has support from Novell, RedHat, RedFlag CH2000 and over 450,000 people worldwide. With industry players and communities working together, the reliability issue of applications no longer arises.

Read the complete article by Chandra Devi in The New Straits Times. Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
OASIS sites: OASIS | Cover Pages | | AMQP | CGM Open | eGov | Emergency | IDtrust | LegalXML | Open CSA | OSLC | WS-I