This is a big one!
As announced 5 weeks ago I left ownCloud, Inc., The company that I co-founded. Not because I abandoned ownCloud or the idea behind it. Actually the opposite. I don’t want to go into details but there are a lot of things that could have been better at ownCloud Inc.
Usually this is something that could just be ignored. You leave your job and work somewhere else. But ownCloud Inc. is not just a normal company for me. ownCloud own one of the biggest and most important open source projects. This is a critical component of the open source space and super important for the privacy and security of millions of people. And it is also used by a ton of institutions like CERN, Sciebo DB and lots of other bigger companies and organizations.
So I, and a most of the core technical people reached the point where we decided to reboot ownCloud in a better way.
So today we are forking ownCloud into a new open source project called Nextcloud and we are also founding a new company called Nextcloud GmbH to offer Nextcloud software and services for companies and bigger organizations.
So what will be better and different?
Open source community contributors are the absolutely key component for the success of an open source project. A lot of people were not happy over the years how thing are handled. So we want to fix them.
– We will no longer require a contributor license agreement from contributors.
– We no longer do dual-licensing
– The new trademark will be hold by an independent foundation.
– We no longer do internal development planing behind closed doors. Everything will happen in the open.
– Nextcloud will support some of the most loved feature like Calendar and Contacts fully.
– Nextcloud will come with full communication and video conferencing features by integrating Spreed.ME, a free and open source WebRTC software.
– Nextcloud will contain some of the features that were only available in the enterprise version. Disclaimer: There will still be some enterprise only features but they are targeting enterprises only and don’t restrict Nextcloud itself.
For customers and partners
– As part of the Enterprise subscription we will fully support the Contacts, Calendar and Mail apps. This was requested by a lot of customers.
– Full video conferencing and communication features will be fully supported.
– Because all the feature and planing discussions and development will happen in the open it is a lot easier to collaborate and work together.
– Nextcloud GmbH is setup as a sustainable company with a long term vision instead of short term profit.
We want to make Nextcloud GmbH a good and longterm home for everyone who is employed to work on Nextcloud.
– Nextcloud GmbH is built for sustainability instead of short term growth
– The shares are hold by the employees
– We respect privacy and data security internally and externally
– We are working together as a team to create company guidelines and a code of conduct and a product vision together with the community.
We will release a drop in replacement for ownCloud in a few weeks so that users and customers can easily upgrade to Nextcloud to benefit from the new bugfix and security improvements and features. Nextcloud GmbH will provide free support for all current ownCloud customers to simplify a transition.
This will be an awesome and exiting journey with a bright future for the important technology we have been working on for so long. A big thank to my long term friend Niels Mache from Spreed for supporting this reboot and for making the Spreed.ME open source software a part of Nextcloud.
More information will be available on nextcloud.com and on my blog in the future.