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From robert_w...@us.ibm.com
Subject Re: A little OOo history
Date Tue, 07 Jun 2011 18:41:06 GMT
Danese Cooper <danese@gmail.com> wrote on 06/07/2011 02:19:38 PM:

> 
> Just have to say...I have often been quoted saying the advent of 
> OpenOffice.org was a rare case of "corporate greed aligning with 
> human need". Safe to assume a high percentage of downloaders don't 
> have $.99. I know we're all excited by the commercial potential of 
> an unencumbered codebase, but let's not forget that this software 
> has been localized by the community into *many* languages (65 last I
> checked, but probably more now) just so local people would have a 
> chance to learn to use computers without also having to learn one of
> the 13 languages MSFT supports.
> 

An example, I was in South Africa at an ODF workshop a few years ago. They 
had a vending-machine like device called "Freedom Toaster"  where you 
could stick in a CD ROM, pick from a list of open source applications, and 
have them burned onto your disc. All the software was stored locally.  A 
great way to get around bandwidth limitations in that situation.  (and 
yes, it had OOo)

http://www.freedomtoaster.org/

It seems Apache will have a destination of value in OpenOffice.org.  There 
should be a way to monetize this, similar to how Mozilla monetized their 
default search engine choice with Google.   For example, ASF could take 
bids and award a contracts to providers who want to serve up OOo code. The 
money from this could be used to fund mirrors in under-served markets.  Or 
the contract could require that the downloads be free to certain ranges of 
IP addresses, or something like that.  Similar things could be done with 
respect to advertising.  (With the obvious caveat that I have absolutely 
no idea whether any of this is permitted by ASF bylaws.)

And remeber, let's not lock ourselves into something that "just works" for 
current OOo market share of 10% or so.  We need to set our sights on what 
will work for twice or three times that number, at least.  We need 
something that will scale both technically as well as financially.  It is 
a challenge, I admit that.  But I also cannot think of any open source 
foundation more up to this challenge than Apache.


-Rob

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