First the recession, then killer pig flu, and now it looks as if my favourite software is doomed.

OpenOffice exists as a project of Sun Microsystems, and Sun just got taken over by Oracle Corp.

Sun has two jewels that Oracle wanted: Java, a programming language designed to run no matter what your operating system, and Solaris, an operating system. Sun also makes computer servers and storage boxes, but the software was the target.

Oracle makes database software, and the received wisdom is they aren’t that interested in OpenOffice. They use Java and Oracle to run their own products, so owning them is a nice piece of synergy, but have no need for an office productivity suite.

Already there is talk of spinning off OpenOffice, perhaps into a separate company, if not some sort of foundation or trust.

And if that happens, it’s not clear if it will thrive and prosper, or wither on the vine.

I’ve written two books and countless articles using Openoffice. The spreadsheet comes in handy at accounts time too. If it fades away, I will definitely miss it, and not just because it comes at a price that’s hard to beat.

Openoffice does things right.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.

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