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OpenOffice.org's 10th Anniversary: The Difference a Decade Makes

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October 13, 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the OpenOffice.org project. It's a significant landmark, both for me personally and for free software in general.

For the community at large, the importance of OpenOffice.org is hard to over-estimate. Ten years ago, despite all the efforts to market it, GNU/ Linux was a developers' operating system. KOffice was in its infancy, and AbiWord a glorified text editor. Applixware was proprietary and still basic. StarOffice was available for download, but not free software. People were questioning whether GNU/Linux was ready for average users, or ever could be. The lack of a fully-featured office suite might not matter much to developers, but it definitely mattered to GNU/Linux's long-term acceptance.

Then, after months of alternating silence and waffling, Sun Microsystems announced on 19 July, 2000, that it would be release the StarOffice code.

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