Earlier this week, ownCloud Inc announced the formation of the ownCloud Foundation as an effort to keep the community together after the exit of founder Frank Karlitschek. At the time, I speculated that there was more to come as Karlitschek was not listed among the ownCloud Foundation’s supporters.
The other shoe has now dropped and Karlitschek is forking the project he created into the new NextCloud effort.
NextCloud is supposed to be a drop-in replacement for ownCloud 9 with added security and stability updates as well as integration of Spreed.ME video conferencing and chat. Perhaps most importantly, Nextcloud GmbH (which is the new commercial entity behind NextCloud) has pledged that it will fulfill all contracts customers signed with ownCloud, Inc. until June 2nd – “That way customers won’t be without the support from the experts they need to keep their servers running.,” the company stated.
What an epic blow to ownCloud Inc. Not only has Karlitschek forked ownCloud, he’s taking direct aim at ownCloud Inc’s business too. This is a decisive move and one that will have a direct impact on the continued viability and sustainability of ownCloud Inc in my view. The creation of a foundation by ownCloud was a nice idea, but it’s clear that Karlitschek has his own ideas too.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist