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Startup makes LibreOffice, OpenOffice available for Firefox smartphones

Startup makes LibreOffice, OpenOffice available for Firefox smartphones

People use their device's Web browser to access the software, which rollApp hosts

A startup that uses the cloud to bring desktop applications to mobile devices has expanded its offerings for Mozilla's Firefox OS.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice are now available to people with smartphones running Firefox OS. The office suites can be found in Mozilla's Marketplace app store along with other programs offered by rollApp, a venture capital-backed company based in Palo Alto, Calif.

With the addition of LibreOffice and OpenOffice, rollApp has made 18 applications available for Firefox OS users.

RollApp hosts copies of software on its servers and allows people to access the applications via browsers.

The software hosted by rollApp cover a range of applications including computer-aided design, worker productivity and software development. The 130 apps offered also include games. However, don't expect to find any popular proprietary programs like Microsoft Office. For now, all of rollApp's software-as-a-service offerings are for free and open source applications.

The company offers software for Android tablets and smartphones, Apple's iPad, Windows PCs and Chromebooks in addition to other devices. The apps offered by RollApp are integrated with cloud storage services like Google Drive, Box and Dropbox.

Finding productivity applications for emerging platforms like Firefox OS can be difficult, rollApp said in a blog post. The company's goal is to make any application accessible on whatever device a person is using.

An ad-supported model of rollApp's service is available for free. For US$6.99 per user per month, people can use rollApp without ads and have access to features including the ability to save changes to documents stored in the cloud or run an unlimited number of applications simultaneously.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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