The Document Foundation Blog


The Document Foundation celebrates its first anniversary

Filed under: Announcements — Tags: , — italovignoli @ 06:45

LibreOffice has just been awarded IDG’s InfoWorld BOSSIE Awards 2011 and OWF Experiment Awards 2011 for best of Open Source software

The Internet, September 28, 2011 – The Document Foundation (TDF) celebrates its first anniversary, one year after the unveiling of the project and the release of the first beta of LibreOffice. “What we have achieved in just twelve months is incredible,” says Charles Schulz, a member of the Steering Committee. “Let’s have a look at some numbers: we have 136 members who have been nominated for their contributions to the project; we have some 270 developers and 270 localizers (although we always want to attract more), many of whom are also members; we have over 100 mailing lists, with over 15,000 subscribers, half of whom receive all our announcements; and there have been thousands of articles in the media worldwide”.

LibreOffice is the result of the combined activity of 330 contributors – including former developers – having made more than 25,000 commits. The developer community is well balanced between company-sponsored contributors and independent community volunteers: SUSE and community volunteers new to the project have provided around 25% each of the commits, with a further 20% coming from RedHat and another 20% coming from the code base. The remaining commits came from pre-TDF contributors, Canonical developers, and organizations like Bobiciel, CodeThink, Lanedo, SIL, and Tata Consultancy Services.

Libreoffice activedevelopersAll that effort is yielding results. Faster, more reliable, with richer features than predecessors, the LibreOffice experience is the best yet in the evolving heritage of the former StarOffice codebase. As InfoWorld said, “The newest features show that much more attention to improving performance and making the product more like a business tool and less me-too effort.”

“Thanks to a very welcoming attitude to newcomers, to the copyleft license, and to the fact that it is not requesting any copyright assignment, The Document Foundation has attracted more developers with commits in the first year than the project in the first decade”, says Norbert Thiebaud, a first-day hacker who jumped on LibreOffice code on September 28, 2010, and is now a member of TDF Engineering Steering Committee.

Downloads since January 25, 2011, the day of availability of the first stable release, have just exceeded 6 million from 81 TDF mirrors, and amount to 7.5 million when you add external sites (like Softpedia) offering the same package. In addition, there are many more users who install LibreOffice from a CD burned from the ISO images available online or bundled with a magazine. TDF estimates that there are 10 million users worldwide having installed from downloads and CDs. Over 90% of those are on Windows, with another 5% on MacOS.

Libreoffice downloadspermonthLinux users, in contrast, get LibreOffice from their distribution repository. Based on IDC reckonings for new or updated Linux installations in 2011, TDF estimates a subtotal of 15 million Linux users, as LibreOffice is the office suite of choice for all Linux distributions.

TDF calculates that there is a total of 25 million LibreOffice users worldwide, in line with the expectations and well on the way to the target of 200 million users worldwide before the end of the decade.

“When the community around decided to fork into an independent, community-driven project, I was excited and wanted to see it be a success. The best way to ensure that was to actively get involved and, right from the first day, I decided I wanted to be part of the team. I work on LibreOffice documentation and website content development, operate an Alfresco platform for the project, and provide support to the marketing group. LibreOffice is indeed a live, thriving and active project, and we are all determined to ensure it continues to be a great success story,” says David Nelson, another first-day volunteer accepted into the fold as a member of The Document Foundation for his contributions.

The community around TDF will gather in Paris from October 12 to October 15, 2011, for the first LibreOffice Conference ( Interested people should register at

LibreOffice can be downloaded from

NOTE TO READERS: If TDF had used the old metrics, counting all hits to the mirror system, the number of downloads would be counted as over 22 million.


  1. Happy Birthday! :)

    Comment by kneekoo — 2011/09/28 @ 11:15

  2. Best wishes from Poland!:)

    Comment by Maksim Lagoshin (@lagoshin) — 2011/09/28 @ 18:56

  3. Congratulations! I have been a happy user the whole time. I’m really, really looking forward to 3.5 and beyond.

    I have a hard time discerning the various colors in the developers per affiliation graph. A table would be more useful in the future.


    Comment by Mike Linksvayer — 2011/09/28 @ 19:07

  4. LibreOffice is fantastic! Warmest congratulations from Stuttgart, Germany!

    Comment by Daniel — 2011/09/28 @ 19:24

  5. Can you explain a little more for how you come up with the 15 million user number? Is that based purely on a number being generated by IDC? And is the IDC estimation methodology publicly documented somewhere that you can provide a reference for. I’m really not sure just picking up IDCs estimate and running with it, without understanding their methodology is a wise thing to do.


    Comment by Jef Spaleta — 2011/09/28 @ 19:28

    • IDC estimates the new users in a given timeframe for every PC platform, and their numbers are used as a reference by all hardware and software vendors. Of course, IDC numbers might be wrong as any other estimate, but if they are wrong for Linux then they are wrong for Windows and MacOS too. Of course, you are free to believe it or not. This is the reason why we have used the word estimate to describe this number.

      Comment by italovignoli — 2011/09/28 @ 19:51

      • Is there a publicly documented methodology for how they “estimate?”

        Are they primarily counting pre-installed vendor shipped systems? If so then perhaps the linux estimate they are making is heavily weighed towards RHEL and SLED and would therefor not be representative of libreoffice adoption as these enterprise grade pre-installs would not include libreoffice would they?


        Comment by Jef Spaleta — 2011/09/28 @ 20:12

      • IDC is estimating the number of desktops with a new or updated Linux installation. If they were counting pre-installed desktop systems, Linux would not exist (almost). Of course, as LibreOffice is a desktop software, we have mentioned figures related to desktop systems, but this is a redundant information (unless you believe that we are a bunch of incompetent people). Of course, out of these 15 million new or updated Linux desktops there will be people using a different office suite, but then there is the same possibility that someone else has installed LibreOffice even if his Linux system is not new nor updated. Unfortunately, counting desktop software users is a difficult exercise for everyone (even for companies selling proprietary licenses, because corporate license packs are on average larger than the number of real users, and therefore even Microsoft Office license numbers are higher than Microsoft Office real users numbers). IDC numbers are a third party reference accepted by everyone.

        Comment by italovignoli — 2011/09/28 @ 20:58

      • Can you PLEASE provide a citation where IDC explains their methodology. It’s their methodology, instead of trying to cribnote an explanation…provide a citation where they explain it in detail.

        For example of what I am looking for from IDC.

        Adobe does a pretty good job of explaining the methodology of their estimation.

        And I’m not asking you as a consumer of IDC estimates to provide me with that level of detail. But I expect you to be able to point me to IDC’s methology statement concerning the numbers. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t be using them as a basis for further estimation. I can’t find any public documented methodology about how IDC comes up with PC market numbers. Are these numbers from a paid-for IDC industry report that comes with some sort of NDA which prevents you from republishing the report? if so just say so. if not I could really use a citation to IDC methodology or if not a direct citation a point of contact inside IDC who can point me to a methodology statement.


        Comment by Jef Spaleta — 2011/09/28 @ 21:23

      • If we could link the report, or provide it in PDF format, we would – of course – have done so. This is a blog post, though, and not a scientific report about LibreOffice market share. Therefore, we are free to provide our estimates based on industry analysts widely accepted estimates, and you are free to believe them or not. As an alternative, you can provide a different estimate, based on other industry analysts data. But your opinions will never prevent us from providing our estimates based on the sources that we find more appropriate.

        Comment by italovignoli — 2011/09/28 @ 22:22

    • If you are using data sources which require a non disclosure or puts constraints on republication as part of the agreement to gain access to them then say that…footnote that…and provide contact information for the analytics provider. Or you could _refrain_ from using the data source in question entirely. I find it _deeply_ ironic that you would choose to use a data source that so strictly controls its re-publication rights in blog which champions libreoffice’s ability to attract contributors because of its project transparency and lack of egregious CLA or assignment requirement..Even the republishing of the basic methodology used in the report is forbidden. That’s pretty egregious. It really doesn’t matter if its a norm for the industry or not. If you publish numbers you need to publish methodology along with them. If you are restricted by some sort of licensing agreement from publishing the methodology then you should also refrain from publishing the numbers and you should ask your analytics vendor to allow you to publish the methodology along with the numbers. Shame on IDC for allowing you to selectively publish numbers without the methodology as well. And shame on you for falling into that trap.

      If Adobe can choose to release their methodology for their commissioned study, IDC can do it as well, and they choose not. And by choosing rebroadcast such tightly controlled analytic industry products, you’re working against the goals of transparency industry wide. Feel free to use those products internally at meetings where everyone in the room has equal access to the full analytics product, but refrain from rebroadcasting excepts from those products to externals who don’t have access to the methodology statement. And don’t use such excerpts as the basis over which to build further publicly communicated estimates. If the terms of the IDC report _license_ that you’ve agreed to disallows you to communicate the details of the estimation methodology to the public then don’t reveal any of it to the public. Trust but verify. And if there is no way to verify, then there can be no trust.


      Comment by Jef Spaleta — 2011/09/28 @ 23:34

      • Quite fed up by your attitude. Sorry, but I find this final comment ridiculous. Are you, by any chance, try to spread FUN on TDF like reputable IBM gentlemen are doing on the Apache OOo mailing list or their personal blogs? The fact that we can’t be trusted while other companies can be trusted when they use the same data speaks by itself. Adobe has enough money to pay for a research, we are a not for profit and we definitely will never spend donations money to pay for a market research. Therefore, we are not allowed to release data we have not paid for. If you are so worried by our estimates, then ask IDC.

        Comment by italovignoli — 2011/09/29 @ 07:05

      • Please give me a contact for a person at IDC whom you feel is most qualified to talk to me about methodology.


        Comment by Jef Spaleta — 2011/09/30 @ 15:25

  6. A year …?

    Incredible … It seems like yesterday when we heard of what was cooking in the shade of …

    I know that many people believed that the fork was a thing of the tantrum of a few Oracle developers, that the thing would end up in less than three months …

    And they were wrong!

    It is true that LibreOffice it is not perfect and that The Document Foundation is just beginning.

    But facts are facts and numbers speak for themselves: TDF grows day-to-day and LibreOffice exists, it is already an undeniable part of the universe of Open Source.

    Thanks to this fact, as a user, I feel very happy because now I can choose.

    H A P P Y A N N I V E R S A R Y, F O L K S!

    Comment by DrakoDrakkonis — 2011/09/28 @ 19:51

  7. Congrats!!! Excellent work, keep ahead, my best wishes from Colombia

    Comment by Javier — 2011/09/28 @ 20:57


    Comment by — 2011/09/28 @ 21:32

  9. Try your best, LO! Best wish from Vietnam!

    Comment by Long Nguyen — 2011/09/29 @ 05:40

  10. Happy Birthday!
    Thanks for your great work!

    Comment by Alle — 2011/09/29 @ 09:29

  11. hear your fame, congratulations.

    Comment by acgleader — 2011/09/29 @ 12:34

  12. Happy birthday LibreOffice ……. best wishes to LibreOffice team from Egypt

    Comment by Ahmed Osama — 2011/09/30 @ 03:23

  13. Happy birthday libreoffice!

    Comment by kaanaksit — 2011/09/30 @ 20:22

  14. Very good post, I was really searching for this topic, as I wanted this topic to understand completely and it is also very rare in internet, that is why it was very difficult to understand.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    ISO 9001

    Comment by ISO 9001 — 2011/10/19 @ 07:54

  15. Brilliant!…This post I’ve searched it for long in vain. I am glad that finally I got it. It’s quite informing and a fact filling post…Happy birthday.

    Comment by m — 2011/12/14 @ 09:38

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