The Document Foundation, the entity in charge of developing the LibreOffice open source office suite, has announced its arrival in the most profitable application store on the planet, Apple’s Mac App Store, and… it has done so as a paid application , of course.
Specifically, any macOS user who wishes to purchase LibreOffice from the Mac App Store must pay the $8.99/Euro it costs, a single payment whose amount will be used “to support the development of the LibreOffice project,” explains Italo Vignoli, president of The Document Foundation. This initiative is an evolution of the previous strategy “in search of a balanced business model”, whereby each release of the suite was forked into two different versions.
In such a way that users of LibreOffice on macOS who wish to do so will be able to continue downloading from the project’s website the community version free of chargewhile business and professional users will have the corporate version available, optimized for production deployments with long-term release support and the option to access additional support services.
It should be noted that, in practice, except for the extended support of some versions, the community and corporate LibreOffice are exactly the same. The only difference, in favor of the community edition, is that it includes Java, a dependency that applications in the Mac App Store do not allow. Otherwise, both versions are built from the same source code.
From The Document Foundation they thank Collabora, the company in charge until now of marketing versions of LibreOffice in different application stores, including the Mac App Store, now that they take over from them in the initiative. “The goal is to better meet the needs of individual and business users, although we know that the positive effects of the change will not be visible for some time,” says Vignoli.
“Educate companies about FOSS [Free Open Source Software o software libre y de código abierto] it is not a trivial task and we have just started our journey in this direction”, he adds. The distinction is important, because anyone, common user, professional or company, can access any of the LibreOffice versions, but additional support and technical assistance services can only be contracted through the corporate version.
The latest version of the office suite to date, although it has already received its first maintenance update, is LibreOffice 7.4. Although it is not available if this is the one available in the macOS App Store, or if it is a previous one with extended support, since it does not specify it.