LibreOffice was launched as a fork of OpenOffice.org on September 28, 2010, by a tiny group of people representing the community in their capacity of community project leaders. At the time it was a brave – although necessary – decision, because it was rather clear to everyone that OpenOffice.org was not going to survive for a long time under Oracle stewardship.
In fact, the group of 16 founders launched an independent free software project under the stewardship of The Document Foundation, to fulfil the promise made by Sun ten years before – at the time of the first announcement of OpenOffice.org – of an independent free software foundation capable of pushing forward the free office suite to the next level.
After five years, LibreOffice is acknowledged in the marketplace as the sole Microsoft Office contender, based on a sheer feature by feature comparison, and on the number of successful migrations. Migrating to LibreOffice has never been easier, thanks to the Migration Protocol drafted by the most experienced people at The Document Foundation, which outlines the best practices adopted by several large projects worldwide.
A success confirmed by the Future of Open Source Survey 2015, which has put LibreOffice amongst the seven most valuable open source projects, based on the answers provided by over 1,300 professionals worldwide.
It has been an amazing journey. In five years, LibreOffice developers have not missed a single time based release, with major announcements in late January and late July, and minor announcements on a monthly basis. Thanks to this sustained pace, LibreOffice has reached a richness of features and a level of interoperability which are second to none.
LibreOffice 5.0, launched in early August, has been the most successful major release ever, triggering an unprecedented 8,000 donations in 30 days. Of course, the success has been reflected in the number of adoptions, which has soared. The icing on the cake has been the announcement of the Italian Defence Organization, which will be migrating some 150,000 PCs to LibreOffice starting from October 2015.
To celebrate our 5th anniversary, we have put together a book based on the blog post of the people who have made the history, which is available in a mini (700 pages) and a maxi (1,300 pages) version. Enjoy.