Following announcements made last year, the Italian army has moved forward with its plan to replace Microsoft Office with LibreOffice. So far, the army has tested its transition plan across 5000 workstations without significant problems. Following its LibreDifesa plan, the army aims to replace all MS Office installations by the end of the year.
In doing so, the Italian army will join government departments from Spain, France, the UK, Holland and Germany in setting an example for the rest of the public sector to follow.
The Document Foundation is currently planning on the release of the next major version of the LibreOffice open-source and cross-platform office suite, LibreOffice 5.2.
And, in the good tradition of our "Upcoming features of" series of articles, and because more new features have been unveiled already for the upcoming LibreOffice 5.2 release, we thought that it will be a good idea to keep you guys in the loop and let you know what is to be expected from the LibreOffice 5.2 office suite.
Even after all these years, no one has yet dethroned Microsoft Word from its kingly position. Sure, a few alternatives have been playing a great game of catch-up and innovation, but there’s no doubt about it — Word is still the best.
But unless you use some kind of emulation or virtualization software, there’s no way to run Word on a regular Linux setup. Which leaves us with a tough question: what’s the best word processor to use on Linux?
There are a handful of worthy options out there. Let’s take a brief but thorough look at them to see all of their pros and cons. By the end, it’ll be up to you to pick the one that works best for your needs.
LibreOffice has become the top alternative to Microsoft Office on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, so whenever a new version comes out, users rush to download it and benefit from the latest improvements made to built-in apps.
The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.1.3, the third minor release of the LibreOffice 5.1 family, supporting Google Drive remote connectivity on GNU/Linux and MacOS X.
The Italian Ministry of Defence expects to save 26-29 million Euro over the coming years by using LibreOffice. The LibreDifesa project aims to eventually migrate all of the organisation's well over 100,000 desktops to the open-source office productivity suite. "Taking into account the deadlines set by our current Microsoft Office licences, we will have 75,000 (70%) LibreOffice users by 2017, and an additional 25,000 by 2020," says General Camillo Sileo, Deputy Chief of Department VI, Systems Department C4I, for the Transformation of Defence and General Staff. That will make this deployment of LibreOffice the largest in Europe.
The 3D/OpenGL support in LibreOffice just got a bit better with now supporting multi-threaded rendering.
There are however some hiccups with vendor lock-in, in cloud computing or elsewhere. It just hasn’t disappeared. The lock-in still exists through proprietary or otherwise unimplementable file formats; through undocumented protocols and weak or non existent reversibility clauses. Vendor lock-in has not gone away, it has become more subtle by moving up the ladder. If your entire business processes are hosted and run by a cloud service provider there may be some good reasons for you to have made that choice; but the day the need for another provider or another platform is felt the real test will be to know if it is possible to back up your data and processes and rebuild them elsewhere and in a different way. That’s an area where open standards could really help and will play an increasing role. Another area where open standards are still contentious is multimedia: remember what happened to Mozilla in 2015 when they chose to embed proprietary, DRM-riddled codecs because of industry pressure.
One of Microsoft’s Office 365 program chief advantages over open source alternatives is the ability to sync documents via the cloud so you can edit them everywhere. Open365 has stepped up to finally match this feature set.
Open365 works a lot like Office 365 does. The suite builds on LibreOffice Online to let you open your documents in the browser, or use any of the client apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android to open them. Open365 also gives you 20GB of cloud-based storage to store your files on that will be synced across your devices.
Open365 is an open source Office 365 alternative that allows you to edit or create documents online, and to sync files with the cloud.
The service is in beta currently but you can sign up for it already on the official website. You may use it using a web browser, download clients for Windows, Mac or Linux desktop machines, or for Android. An iOS client is in the making currently and will be made available as well soon.
Open 365 offers two main features that you can make use of. First, it enables you to synchronize files between devices you use and the cloud.
Today I would like to focus on a quite interesting project, even though it is rarely spoken of: The Document Liberation Project. The Document Liberation Project is LibreOffice’s sister project and is hosted inside the Document Foundation; it keeps its own distinct goals and ecosystem however. We often think of it as being overly technical to explain, as the project does not provide binaries everyone may download and install on a computer. Let’s describe in a few words what it does.
Back in 2003, over 800 blog posts ago, I decided to launch something I called the Standards Blog. Not surprisingly, it focused mostly on the development, implementation and importance of open standards. But I also wrote about other areas of open collaboration, such as open data, open research, and of course, open source software. Over time, there were more and more stories about open source worth writing, as well as pieces on the sometimes tricky intersection of open standards and open source.