Between January 2011 (the first stable release) and October 2011, LibreOffice was downloaded approximately 7.5 million times. During 2012, the office suite was downloaded about 15 million times.
Math: An application designed for creating and editing mathematical formulae. The application uses a variant of XML for creating formulas, as defined in the OpenDocument specification. These formulas can be incorporated into other documents in the LibreOffice suite, such as those created by Writer or Calc, by embedding the formulas into the document.
A database management program, similar to Microsoft Access. LibreOffice Base allows the creation and management of databases, preparation of forms and reports that provide end users easy access to data. Like Access, it can be used to create small embedded databases that are stored with the document files (using Java-based HSQLDB as its storage engine), and for more demanding tasks it can also be used as a front-end for various database systems, including Access databases (JET), ODBC/JDBC data sources, and MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL or Microsoft Access.
LibreOffice is officially developed for Microsoft Windows (IA-32), Linux (IA-32 and x86-64) and OS X (IA-32). Community ports for FreeBSD,NetBSD, and OpenBSD are maintained by contributors to those projects, respectively. A community port for OpenIndiana is in development.
In 2011 plans were announced to port LibreOffice to both Android and iOS. A-EON Technology announced in 2012 that a port of LibreOffice is underway for their AmigaOne X1000 computer running the latest AmigaOS.
LibreOffice Online will allow for the use of LibreOffice through a web browser by using the canvas element of HTML5. Development was announced in October 2011 and is ongoing. It has not yet been released.
LibreOffice can use the GStreamer multimedia framework in Linux to render multimedia content such as videos in Impress and other programs.
Visually, LibreOffice uses the large "Tango style" icons that are used for the application shortcuts, quick launch icons, icons for associated files and for the icons found on the toolbar of the LibreOffice programs. They are also used on the toolbars and menus by default.
LibreOffice also ships with a modified theme which looks native on GTK-based Linux distributions. It also renders fonts via Cairo on Linux distributions; this means that text in LibreOffice is rendered the same as the rest of the Linux desktop.
The LibreOffice project uses a dual LGPLv3 (or later) / MPL license for new contributions to allow the license to be upgraded. Since the core of the OpenOffice.org codebase was donated to the Apache Software Foundation, there is an ongoing effort to get all the code rebased to ease future license updates. At the same time, there were complaints that IBM had not in fact released the Lotus Symphony code as open source, despite having claimed to. It was reported that some LibreOffice developers wanted to overtake some code parts and bug fixes which IBM already fixed in their OpenOffice fork.
LO supports third-party extensions. As of June 2013[update], the LO Extension Repository lists more than 118 extensions. Another list is maintained by the Free Software Foundation.
Sifr icon set
The new LibreOffice flat icons that will replace the current tango icons
To modernise the aesthetics of the office suite, the icon theme is going to be updated. A flat icon set is being introduced in 4.2 that will replace the current tango icons as the default. The goals of this new icon set are to be flat, monochrome, and scalable rather than bitmap icons.
Members of the OpenOffice.org community who were not Sun Microsystems employees had wanted a more egalitarian form for the OpenOffice.org project for many years; Sun had stated in the original OpenOffice.org announcement in 2000 that the project would eventually be run by a neutral foundation, and put forward a more detailed proposal in 2001.
Ximian and then Novell had maintained the ooo-build patch set, a project led by Michael Meeks, to make the build easier on Linux and due to the difficulty of getting upstream contributions accepted by Sun, even from corporate partners. It tracked the main line of development and was not intended to constitute a fork. It was also the standard build mechanism for OpenOffice.org in most Linux distributions and was contributed to by said distributions.
In 2007, ooo-build was made available by Novell as a software package called Go-oo (ooo-build had used the go-oo domain name as early as 2005), which included many features not included in upstream OpenOffice.org. Go-oo also encouraged outside contributions, with rules similar to those later adopted for LibreOffice.
Sun's contributions to OpenOffice.org had been declining for some time, they remained reluctant to upstream contributions and contributors were upset at Sun releasing OpenOffice.org code to IBM for IBM Lotus Symphony under a proprietary contract, rather than under an open source licence.
Sun was purchased by Oracle Corporation, the deal being concluded in early 2010. OpenOffice.org community members were concerned at Oracle's behaviour towards open source software, the Java lawsuit against Google and the lack of activity on OpenOffice.org — as Meeks put it in early September 2010, "The news from the Oracle OpenOffice conference was that there was no news." Discussion of a fork started soon after.
The Document Foundation and LibreOffice
On 28 September 2010, The Document Foundation was announced as the host of LibreOffice, a new derivative of OpenOffice.org. The Document Foundation's initial announcement stated their concerns that Oracle would either discontinue OpenOffice.org, or place restrictions on it as an open source project, as it had on Sun's OpenSolaris.
LibreOffice 3.3 beta used the ooo-build build infrastructure and the OpenOffice.org 3.3 beta code from Oracle, then adding selected patches from Go-oo. Go-oo was discontinued in favour of LibreOffice. Since the office suite branded "OpenOffice.org" in most Linux distributions was in fact Go-oo, most moved immediately to LibreOffice.
It was originally hoped that the LibreOffice name would be provisional, as Oracle was invited to become a member of The Document Foundation. Oracle rejected requests to donate the OpenOffice.org brand to the project and demanded that all members of the OpenOffice.org Community Council involved with The Document Foundation step down from the OOo Community Council, citing a conflict of interest.
LibreOffice was initially named BrOffice in Brazil. OpenOffice.org was distributed as BrOffice.org by the BrOffice Centre of Excellence for Free Software because of a trademark issue.
End of OpenOffice.org
As a result of the fork of OpenOffice.org into LibreOffice, Oracle announced in April 2011 that it was ending its development of OpenOffice.org and would release the majority of its paid developers. In June 2011, Oracle announced that it would donate the OpenOffice.org code and trademark to the Apache Software Foundation, where the project was accepted for a project incubation process within the foundation, this becoming Apache OpenOffice.
History after the establishment of The Document Foundation
As of July 2013 the advisory board of The Document Foundation has 11 members: AMD, Google, Red Hat, SUSE, Intel, Lanedo, King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST), Inter-Ministry Mutualisation for an Open Productivity Suite (MIMO), Free Software Foundation (FSF), Software in the Public Interest, and Freies Office Deutschland e.V.
Two different major versions of LibreOffice are available at any time. The latest version is available for users looking for the latest enhancements while the previous version caters to users who prefer stability.
LibreOffice uses a time-based release schedule for predictability, rather than a "when it's ready" schedule. There has been a major release approximately every four to eight months, aiming for six-monthly. A minor bugfix version of the current and previous release branches is released each month.
The Document Foundation intends to release new major versions of LibreOffice once every six months (and to eventually do so in March and September, with the intention of aligning it with other free software projects).
Older version, still supported
Latest preview version
Old version, no longer supported: 3.3 beta
28 September 2010
Initial release based on OpenOffice.org and Go-oo; 80,000 downloads.
The Document Foundation estimated in September 2011 that there were 10 million users worldwide who had obtained LibreOffice via downloads or CD-ROMs. Over 90% of those were on Windows, with another 5% on Mac OS X. LibreOffice is the default office suite for most Linux distributions, and is installed when the operating system is installed or updated. Based on International Data Corporation reckonings for new or updated Linux installations in 2011, The Document Foundation estimated a subtotal of 15 million Linux users. This gave a total estimated user base of 25 million users in 2011. The Document Foundation has set a target of 200 million users worldwide before the end of 2020.
LibreOffice has seen various mass deployments since its inception:
In 2003-2004, the Brazilian corporation Serpro started migrating its software to BrOffice (the local version of LibreOffice at the time), with estimated value of BRL 3.5B (approximately USD 1.2B at the time), and became a case study for similar initiatives in Brazil, particularly in e-government.
In 2010, the Irish city of Limerick gradually started migrating to open-source solutions to free itself from vendor lock-in and improve its purchase negotiation power. One of the key aspects of this move has been the use of LibreOffice.
In 2011, the administrative authority of the Île-de-France region (which includes the city of Paris) included LibreOffice in a USB flash drive given to students which contains free open source software. The USB flash drive is given to approximately 800,000 students.
In 2011, it was announced that thirteen hospitals of the Copenhagen region would gradually switch to LibreOffice, affecting "almost all of the 25,000 workers".