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Oracle, LibreOffice: ideally a co-opetition, not competition

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Choice is great. It’s one of the key selling points of open source — a guarantee that no one company can monopolize a software category, at least illegally.

It’s what enabled the first official release today of LibreOffice 3.3, a version of OpenOffice sponsored by the recently formed Document Foundation. The foundation was formed in September by many leaders of the OpenOffice project, who were not too happy with the way megacorporation Oracle was running the show.

Oracle bought certain rights to OpenOffice assets when it acquired Sun — but not the code itself. Again, therein lies the beauty of open source. Microsoft’s multimillions of Office users and developers worldwide never had such rights.

Nevertheless, on this milestone, it’s important to underscore the need for Oracle and the Document Foundation to cooperate.

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