With rival Microsoft in mind, Google plans to hire programmers to improve OpenOffice.org, a demonstration of its affinity for open source initiatives and one the company believes also shows sound practical sense.
OpenOffice has its roots in Sun Microsystems' StarOffice suite of programs. Five years ago, Sun turned its proprietary software into an open-source project. Only recently, however, has the competitor to Microsoft's Office attracted serious attention.
Now Google believes it can help OpenOffice--perhaps working to pare down the software's memory requirements or its mammoth 80MB download size, said Chris DiBona, manager for open-source programs at the search company.