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Apache OpenOffice - The IBM Edition?

From the 'Goodbye Lotus Symphapache open officeony' files:

If anyone had any real doubt, IBM is the one solid reason why OpenOffice still exits. Linux distros big and small have all left for the superior open source experience that is LibreOffice, yet IBM is stuck in the past.

In a blog posting announcing the end of Lotus Symphony, IBM explained that Open Office is the future (as it was the past too for them since Symphony was an openoffice fork)

"Our energy from here is going into the Apache OpenOffice project, and we expect to distribute an "IBM edition" of Apache OpenOffice in the future," Ed Brill, Director, Lotus Software, IBM Software Group blogged.

But there is a problem - since Apache OpenOffice isn't quite the same as what Lotus users have been used to in the past.

"We will not have the ability to embed the Apache OpenOffice the IBM Edition into the Notes client," Eric Otchet product manager for Symphony and the upcoming Apache OpenOffice the IBM Edition commented. "We are looking at how to extend our Symphony LotusScript support to the Apache OpenOffice code in the future."

From my admittedly narrow vantage point that sure seems like a lot of work to me. Why not just team up with the LibreOffice people? I suppose IBM just has too much vested already in its own 'version' of OpenOffice -whether it's called Symphony or Apache OpenOffice notwithstanding.

I suspect that existing Notes/Symphony users will just stick with what they have on a maintenance only basis for as long as they can - or maybe they'll just look for more innovation and make the move to LibreOffice - time will tell.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist