As cloud popularity grows, so does the collection of free or low-cost online office tools that services like Microsoft Office Online and Google Docs/G Suite provide.
However, those two major league offerings, along with a swarm of other cloud-based productivity platforms, are proprietary. Open source vendors have been promising a free open source online alternative. Until now, online open source office suites have been little more than vaporware.
You can get your document work done fine using an open source local installation. Exchanging documents via email attachments or shared links to files stored on Dropbox and other cloud storage farms work reasonably well for low-level collaborative team tasks.
However, the inconvenience factor kicks in very quickly when you try to handle collaborative tasks and need access to a continual stream of live edits. That is when a cloud-based open source office suite is sorely missed.
Kolab Systems last month announced Kolab Now, a full-featured online office suite. The launch had the blessing of The Document Foundation, which gave up on fulfilling promises for a free open source online version of the LibreOffice suite it sponsors.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht