The Document Foundation, which is the entity behind Libre Office – the major open-source based office productivity suite, has come up with its third major release – Libre Office 3.5. With this release, they seem to have added a number of new features and made the Office Suite very reliable. Just to remind you – Libre Office has all the major Office productivity suites – Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.
One important thing to be noted about their press release is their announcement that professional support for Libre Office installation, maintenance, migration and user training, would be soon available from Libre Office partners world wide. If lack of direct support has been preventing your company from taking the plunge in to the wonderful world of open-source Office packages, your concern would shortly be addressed. If you are a reseller/ system integrator, offering Libre Office based services could be a good option to add to your existing service offerings.
Of course, the heart of any open source product is the participation from community. YOU are that community. If you have been using Libre Office or any other open source based package, you should look at participating back in the project, in some capacity. Any capacity.
For example, you can participate in their bug-hunting sessions, user testing, suggestion of new features, developing code for expanding the products functionality, etc. Its not only good Karma, but you get to learn a lot about project management, testing, development, etc. If your organization has employed Libre Office successfully, you could donate a small amount of money back to their project, so that the project team remains vibrant and keeps developing new features/ functionalities.
Its our responsibility to support and demand open standards. If we want nothing but the best, we often end up getting it!