The open source world is about to welcome a competitor to SharePoint from Microsoft. In 2007, O3Spaces from the Netherlands will release its open source version of its integrated collaboration and document management application for workgroups and small businesses that use OpenOffice.org or its commercial sibling StarOffice. It is already available in its professional version, you can take a look at this quick tour to figure it out, and read a Sharepoint feature comparison here.
It is important as SharePoint is central to Microsoft Office 2007 launch. People Ready is all about collaboration and probably the most compelling reason to upgrade your office suite software. Web 2.0 drives this collaboration attitude, motivating all individuals to do it easily over the network and from very different devices, including our cell phones.
Let’s not forget that desktop productivity software is also making its early steps in the Software as a Service (Saas) world. Just keep in mind what Google is doing with Writely and its online spreadsheet service, offering native web collaboration, all for free!
2007 will definitely be a very interesting time for the office suite market and probably give us some indications on whether customers are keen to stay only with the old licensing model or move partly to the open source model or the Saas one.
I usually do not comment on Sun’s marketing or activity here in Marketing 2.0, but today is an exception. Today is a major milestone in the software industry as Sun fulfills its promise and open sources all of its key Java implementations using General Public Licence (GPL), the licence used by the Linux community. Sun is launching two new communities: OpenJDK and Mobile & Embedded communities.
The Java community, started back in 1995, is thriving: more than 5 million developers, nearly 4 billion devices including 8 out of every 10 mobile handsets. Java the platform — Java is often wrongly considered just a development language — has reached an impressive level of maturity, innovation and adoption. Its promise “Develop once, runs everywhere” attracts now an even wider developer community. This announcement marks the single largest open source contribution the industry has ever seen and propels Sun as the #1 contributor to the open source community, adding to the already open sourced Open Office, NetBeans and OpenSolaris to name a few.
“Sun has made important contributions to the free world already. Things like Open Office and Solaris so [open sourcing Java] adds up to a very important contribution .. Sun has … contributed more than any other company to the free software community in the form of software. It shows leadership.” – Dr. Richard Stahllman, Free Software Foundation
Following important announcements as the Oracle one about RedHat Linux distribution and support and Microsoft cutting a deal with Novell (about SuSe Linux), it is now very clear the open source model for Software will not go away and has changed the software industry and its business model forever. For us marketers, it means a lot when considering the potential impact on other industries where intellectual property is a major asset (music, video, books, motion pictures).
Make sure you attend today (9:30 PST/6:30 pm Paris) the live broadcast announcement if you do care, so you’ll get full details.