The open source community behind the free OpenOffice productivity suite is to create an independent Document Foundation and to rebrand its software as LibreOffice.
This move is being seen as an attempt to distance itself from Oracle which has so far declined to donate the OpenOffice brand to the project.
According to the new foundation's first official press release:
"After ten years' successful growth with Sun Microsystems as founding and principle sponsor, the project launches an independent foundation called The Document Foundation, to fulfil the promise of independence written in the original charter"
The Document Foundation has received support from almost the entire OpenOffice programming community, including Novell, Red Hat and Google, leaving only Oracle with the original OpenOffice repository. The Foundation said that it had invited Oracle to become a member of the new organisation, and to donate the brand it acquired with Sun Microsystems 18 months ago but that until a decision is reached the LibreOffice brand will be used to refer to the Document Foundation's software development efforts.
Speaking for the group of volunteers involved in the development of OpenOffice, Sophie Gautier, former maintainer of the French-speaking language project said:
The beta of LibreOffice is available for download on the Document Foundations website
and developers are invited to join the project and contribute to the code in the new friendly and open environment, to shape the future of office productivity suites alongside contributors who translate, test, document, support, and promote the software.