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Ulteo brings OpenOffice to Web browser

Start-up headed by Mandriva founder Gael Duval creates a version of the open-source productivity software suite for the Mozilla Web browser.

Ulteo, a company staffed by Linux veterans, on Wednesday launched the test version of a service that lets people run the desktop suite in the Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers.

The hosted version of OpenOffice version 2.3 supports PDF printing. Ulteo

The service is designed to let people collaborate with OpenOffice documents online and use the open-source application suite without having to download it.

People can also exchange documents in Microsoft's Office format or PDF. The service also supports the OpenDocument Format standard.

There are already several companies offering online versions of traditional desktop applications, including Google, Zoho, and others. Microsoft on Monday released Office Live Workspace, which lets people share Office documents on a hosted Web server.

The Ulteo service is aimed specifically toward people who use the OpenOffice suite.

At the head of the company are Thierry Koehrlen, chief executive, and Gael Duval, chairman and chief technology officer. Duval founded Linux distributor Mandriva but was ousted last year.