Ten Years of OpenOffice.org

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This year (2010) marks the 10th anniversary of a lot of things: Tuvalu’s entry into the United Nations, Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, and the debut of Windows ME, for example. But much more importantly, 2010 marks OpenOffice.org’s tenth year of existence. To celebrate, here’s a look–literally, because there are a lot of screenshots–at how OOo has evolved throughout the decade.

OpenOffice’s history began on July 19, 2000, when Sun GPL’d the source code of StarOffice, which it had purchased a year earlier from the German company StarDivision. Granted, that means OOo won’t actually turn ten until this summer, but what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t jump the gun from time to time?

Since then, OpenOffice has been one of the poster children of open-source development, demonstrating that free-software projects can produce high-quality products able to compete with commercial alternatives (the fact that dozens of fulltime programmers were paid to work on OpenOffice certainly didn’t hurt in its success).

It’s no stretch to say that without OOo, desktop Linux would likely remain a pipe dream for most people.

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