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Document Foundation Starts Charging For 'Free' LibreOffice on Apple App Store

Wednesday September 21, 2022. 01:20 AM , from Slashdot
Document Foundation Starts Charging For 'Free' LibreOffice on Apple App Store
The Document Foundation, the organization that tends the open source productivity suite LibreOffice, has decided to start charging for one version of the software. The Register reports: LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice and is offered under the free/open source Mozilla Public License Version 2.0. A Monday missive from the Document Foundation reveals the org will begin charging 8.99 euros for the software -- but only when sold via Apple's Mac App Store. That sum has been styled a 'convenience fee... which will be invested to support development of the LibreOffice project.'

The foundation suggests paying up in the Mac App Store is ideal for 'end users who want to get all of their desktop software from Apple's proprietary sales channel.' Free downloads of LibreOffice for macOS from the foundation's site will remain available and arguably be superior to the App Store offering, because that version will include Java. The foundation argued that Apple does not permit dependencies in its store, so it cannot include Java in the 8.99 euro offering. The version now sold in the App Store supersedes a previous offering provided by open source support outfit Collabora, which charged $10 for a 'Vanilla' version of the suite and threw in three years of support. The foundation's marketing officer Italo Vignoli said the change was part of a 'new marketing strategy.'

'The Document Foundation is focused on the release of the Community version, while ecosystem companies are focused on a value-added long-term supported versions targeted at enterprises,' Vignoli explained. 'The distinction has the objective of educating organizations to support the FOSS project by choosing the LibreOffice version which has been optimized for deployments in production and is backed by professional services, and not the Community version generously supported by volunteers.'

'The objective is to fulfil the needs of individual and enterprise users in a better way,' Vignoli added, before admitting 'we know that the positive effects of the change will not be visible for some time. Educating enterprises about FOSS is not a trivial task and we have just started our journey in this direction.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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