On December 3rd SUSE announced it no longer supports LibreOffice as part of its core business. This doesn’t come as a surprise since LO is a pretty beefy environment by itself and requires some significant time and effort for qualification and ongoing support for customers who have bought this from them.
The title of this post is not 100% correct since SUSE decided to outsource the ongoing support to Collabora. Below is an abstract of the announcement.
Tuesday, September 3, SUSE® announced a partnership with Collabora, an open source software consultancy headquartered in the U.K., to deliver maintenance and support to SUSE’s LibreOffice customers. Collabora will begin offering commercial versions of LibreOffice, ensuring continuity of support for enterprise customers and open source LibreOffice development. As LibreOffice is a component of the Novell Open Workgroup Suite, we’d like to, first, clarify the impact of this announcement to your Novell Open Workgroup Suite customers, and second, inform you of a change Novell will soon make to the Novell Open Workgroup Suite bundle
1) IMPACT OF LIBREOFFICE TRANSITION TO NOVELL OPEN WORKGROUP SUITE CUSTOMERS
Novell Open Workgroup Suite customers with maintenance will continue to receive support from Novell until their current maintenance period ends. This support will include service requests and bug fixes. Customers will use the same process to open service requests and should not see a change in support. New Novell Open Workgroup Suite customers, as well as existing customers whose maintenance agreements are up for renewal, may elect to purchase LibreOffice subscriptions directly from Collabora.
2) PENDING REMOVAL OF LIBREOFFICE AND SUSE LINUX ENTERPRISE DESKTOP FROM NOVELL OPEN WORKGROUP SUITE
In early October, Novell will remove LibreOffice and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop from the Novell Open Workgroup Suite. We will issue a formal NPA and further communications between now and then. This decision is directly related to customer interest and deployment—and only coincidental to SUSE’s transition of LibreOffice maintenance to a third-party. Specifically, our analysis of available data indicates that adoption of LibreOffice and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop within the NOWS customer base is very low. As such, we want to focus our resources and marketing efforts on the other suite components.
a) IMPACT ON EXISTING CUSTOMERS: Support for LibreOffice and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop will be provided through the duration of all existing customer maintenance agreements. When the current maintenance period expires, interested customers may work directly with Collabora and/or SUSE to purchase subscriptions.
b) IMPACT ON NEW CUSTOMERS: Once this change is implemented, new Novell Open Workgroup Suite customers interested in LibreOffice can purchase subscriptions directly from Collabora, and those interested in SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop can work directly with SUSE. Note that no price adjustment for the Novell Open Workgroup Suite is planned in conjunction with this decision.
c) ACTIONS FOR PARTNERS TO TAKE: Because of the small number of customers impacted by these actions, we will not issue a broad-based email communication to the global Novell Open Workgroup Suite base. Instead, we ask that partners do the following:
a. Begin informing affected customers of this decision as needed. When the change takes effect (in early October), we will post a public announcement on our Cool Solutions community.
b. Use the time between now and early October to secure renewals with customers who may rely on these components.
c. If you have a unique customer situation related to this announcement, please contact your Novell representative. Please refer to the Novell FAQ for additional details.
To me this is a good thing because it shows that SUSE is once again focusing on its core business and that is Linux. Given the fact they’ve also extended their partnership with VMware plus delivering a solid cloud platform based on OpenStack, SUSE seems to be serious of ramping up their efforts in this space and provide very viable alternatives to RedHat and Oracle.
Keep up the good work.