Today’s announcement by our former colleague Frank Karlitschek, that he intends to launch a competitive product to ownCloud into the market using recently poached developers, has both surprised us and – admittedly – disappointed us. In the past, Frank has made a wealth of contributions to the development of the ownCloud Community Edition. With today’s announcement, he is no longer related to the ownCloud project and has started a competing community.
ownCloud will continue to deliver software and maintenance to our future and existing customer base. Support, consulting and professional services continue to be available. Product improvements will continue to be our focus as we deliver on our vision of “Universal File Access”. We are prepared to face any form of legitimate competition, because we are convinced of the quality of ownCloud.
One of Frank’s criticisms concerned the need to strengthen the Community. In this regard, we have been working on the creation of the ownCloud Foundation, the formation of which we announced earlier this week. The Foundation’s board will consist of 7 members, among them developers elected from the GitHub community, community users and one ownCloud representative. This will strengthen the Community in the long term, and ensures the availability of a free, entirely open source version of ownCloud. The Community Edition is and remains the backbone of our company.
Just yesterday, ownCloud staged an event in Frankfurt, Germany hosted by ownCloud and sponsored by IBM and B1 Systems, where users demonstrated the full range of possibilities of ownCloud in a variety of interesting community and enterprise projects, including Stuttgarter Lebensversicherung a.G., Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung, DESY, Agfa ICS and Senacor. In return, ownCloud unveiled its roadmap for upcoming versions to a wealth of positive feedback. Future collaboration capabilities for documents, spreadsheets and presentations in partnership with Collabora was also very well received.
Unfortunately, the announcement has consequences for ownCloud, Inc. based in Lexington, MA. Our main lenders in the US have cancelled our credit. Following American law, we are forced to close the doors of ownCloud, Inc. with immediate effect and terminate the contracts of 8 employees. The ownCloud GmbH is not directly affected by this and the growth of the ownCloud Foundation will remain a key priority.