A SaaS version of LibreOffice that has been in the works for over 4 years has finally started to take shape. You might remember that LibreOffice has roots in the OpenOffice family of products. A browser based LibreOffice could go toe to toe with Office 365 and Google Apps.
Icewarp and Collabora are the two companies behind the LibreOffice SaaS suite. The cloud version of LibreOffice will provide end users with an alternative to the existing vendors. LibreOffice online is expected to have much of the same functionalities as the desktop version. LibreOffice utilizes the open document file formats for its documents. LibreOffice online will still offer users the backwards compatibility that they desire with the Microsoft Office file format standards.
The trio of IceWarp, Collabora and LibreOffice seems to offer up some fun possibilities for organizations that are looking for an alternative to Google and Microsoft products. Icewarp builds a product that helps sync local desktop pc data with data in the users cloud. The user can then launch a browser and open up LibreOffice online and begin editing the same documents that are located on the local desktop. The file could then be shared out with others in your enterprise using Collabora.
Pricing on the LibreOffice from Collabora website indicates that different versions and plans can be customized to match the needs of your organization. Community LibreOffice is being listed as a free service. A more advanced enterprise version with advanced collaboration services can cost an organization a meager $10 per year, per seat.
Why Use LibreOffice?
Sam Tuke from Collabora writes, “While there are several cloud-based solutions that can edit native Office formats with various degree of compatibility, none of them provides the same core values and format compatibility as LibreOffice, now being used by over 80 million active users around the world. Another challenge is that the online collaboration market is under a tight vendor lock-in, and all existing commercial API offerings are merely a window into a provider-owned cloud service.”