When Oracle announced its intentions to buy Sun Microsystems, many were worried about the future of Sun’s large open source software portfolio, which includes things like Solaris, Java, MySQL, and more. It seems like Oracle is still struggling with what to do with the large body of products Sun entails; they’ve started charging 90 USD per user for the Microsoft Office ODF plugin.
While the plugin has never been open source, it has always been free to download for anyone. This has changed; Oracle has raised the price from free to 90 USD per user, and you have to order a minimum of 100 licenses, raising the minimum price to 9000 USD. You can also opt to buy Oracle’s service for the plugin, which will be another 19.80 USD per user for the first year.
Even though Microsoft included support for the Open Document Format in Office with the release of Microsoft Office 2007, it only covers ODF version 1.0; the Sun/Oracle plugin covers version 1.2, which is used in OpenOffice 3.2. In other words, you’ll now have to pay considerable money in order to use ODF with Microsoft Office.
Oracle was not available for comment on the change, sadly. A single user license for the plugin is now almost as expensive as the cheapest version of Microsoft Office, which seems a little, well, idiotic, to me – then again, I’m sure the people at Oracle aren’t stupid.
Does anyone here use the plugin? Is it any good? Are you pissed off?