Openoffice.org splits from Sun Microsystems

Much of the team behind Openoffice.org, the free suite of office software, has jumped ship from Sun Microsystems and set up a new independent organisation.

Following the aqcuisition of Sun by Oracle, is seems that the coders behind the open source Microsoft Office lookalike were concerned that being swallowed up by the larger outfit would be detrimental to the software's future.

In a statement, the newly-created Document Foundation said that it was forking from the company which had sponsored it for ten years in order to "fulfil the promise of independence written in the original charter."

Oracle has been "invited to become a member of the new foundation" and is being urged to "donate the brand the community has grown during the last ten years".

If Oracle decides it doesn't want to play ball the foundation will carry on under the interim banner of LibreOffice.

Stopping just short of actually accusing Oracle of interfering with Openoffice.org's free and open nature, spokeswoman Sophie Gaultier said: "We believe that the Foundation is a key step for the evolution of the free office suite, as it liberates the development of the code and the evolution of the project from the constraints represented by the commercial interests of a single company."