About a month ago, I commented on Sun's controlling nature with respect to Open Office
. We saw it before with Java and we're seeing it again. I find it quite amusing to see this company scrape by on community-focused ideals, hiding behind the guise of openness. Now, the community behind Open Office seems to be setting their sights on IBM
. IBM is a mammoth and supporting open source initiatives is about all it can do to stay "fresh," in my mind. IBM's efforts with Eclipse did a lot for the company and could do a lot here, but it's definitely an uphill battle. Despite their positive relationship over the years, Sun won't give up their control easily. Hell, it took a CEO change to loosen grips on Java. Either way, I don't see Sun's actions killing the open source project. I do see it's relevance dropping. To be honest, I don't think there is much relevance at this point besides a jump in attention due to the ODF vs. Open XML debate. The real competition seems to be more in the connected world, rather than on the desktop. There's been a love/hate relationship with the ribbon UI of Office 2007, but it's the first real innovation we've seen in a long time. While I don't expect such a drastic improvement in the next release, I'm interested in seeing what's next. We have Office dominating the productivity application market, Open Office making minor steps with the document format debate, and Google quickly putting some skin in the game with their online offering. There's much to see in the coming years. The question is whether or not it's too late for Open Office.