Linux users might find themselves paying money to use LibreOffice one day

If you are a Linux nerd or Windows user without much money, you probably use LibreOffice. That free software is actually quite good, although Microsoft's Office is far superior. Regardless of how you feel about the Windows-maker, its office suite of software is second to none. If you use Windows or Mac and can afford it, I always recommend using "real" Word and Excel over knockoffs, such as the aforementioned LibreOffice's Writer or Calc. Sadly, other than the web version, Microsoft Office is not available for Linux. With that said, as a Linux user, I appreciate LibreOffice's existence and use it regularly.

But what if LibreOffice wasn't free? Would people still use it if it cost money? Some folks became very worried about that exactly, as the release candidate of LibreOffice 7.0 labeled itself as "Personal Edition." To some, it was a sign that a paid version of LibreOffice was on the horizon. Well, guess what? They weren't totally wrong. In the future, you might find yourself paying money to use LibreOffice software. According to a new blog post from The Document Foundation Board aimed at quelling fears, however, there is no need to panic.

"None of the changes being evaluated will affect the license, the availability, the permitted uses and/or the functionality. LibreOffice will always be free software and nothing is changing for end users, developers and Community members. Due to the short time frame we are working with, the tagline appeared on the RC and we apologize if this caused some of you to think we unilaterally implemented the change. Rest assured that the consultation with the Community is still ongoing," explains Mike Saunders on behalf of The Document Foundation Board.

Saunders also says, "This Personal Edition tag line is part of a wider 5 year marketing plan, we are preparing and it has the purpose of differentiating the current, free and community supported LibreOffice from a LibreOffice Enterprise set of products and services provided by the members of our ecosystem. The marketing plan is still under development and discussion so we are eager to receive and evaluate your feedback!"

So, if you are currently using LibreOffice for free, you should be able to continue to do so forever. You have absolutely no reason to worry. However, The Document Foundation Board admits there are plans for a paid "LibreOffice Enterprise" in the future, so some business users may find themselves choosing to pay to use that variant of the software.

Yes, folks, some Linux, Mac, and Windows users might be paying money to use LibreOffice Enterprise one day. You know what? If that puts some extra money into the pockets of LibreOffice developers and contributors, maybe that's a good thing.

Are you worried about this "Personal Edition" tag showing up in LibreOffice? Do you trust The Document Foundation Board members? Please tell me in the comments below.

Photo credit: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

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