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From today Mac users have a new and convenient way to install LibreOffice on OS X. Launched this morning, the LibreOffice Vanilla app is almost identical to the latest copy of LibreOffice Fresh by Document Foundation contributors. It comes fresh from them, to you, after packaging by Collabora, and distribution by Apple.
App Stores are a brilliantly convenient way to find and manage third party software, offering secure downloads, user reviews and more. When we decided to release a Mac App Store version of our own product, LibreOffice-from-Collabora, we wanted regular LibreOffice users to enjoy the same benefits of App Store delivery. Apple has strict rules for publishers using its stores, including a range of legal, technical, and visual requirements. As a “thank you” to the community we’ve spent the last few months making the necessary improvements to pass the stringent app-store validation, and contributing these back to LibreOffice.
We say the app is “almost identical” because there’s one small, but important, difference. Until now, most Mac users visit the LibreOffice website to download an installer file, and in doing so are presented with an opportunity to donate to support ongoing development of LibreOffice at the Document Foundation. The Mac App Store lacks a comparable mechanism to solicit much needed financial support, short of using Apple APIs to add in-app purchasing, or requiring payment for every download. For that reason we’ve added a pop-up window when the application starts, containing direct links to the Foundation and its donation form. The screen also explains the relationship of the app to Collabora.
LibreOffice Vanilla provides access to the latest innovations from the LibreOffice community to millions of App Store users. With luck this will accelerate LibreOffice adoption, empower users to communicate their gratitude, and endow the Foundation with a fresh revenue stream. Users seeking professional stability, and support options, can purchase LibreOffice-from-Collabora, which funds Collabora’s own ongoing improvement of LibreOffice for Mac.