Projity, which has been selling its project management software in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS), will launch an open source version at LinuxWorld next week, under the name OpenProj.
CEO Marc O'Brien said download and community sites should be ready in time for the show, but that the company has not yet chosen a license, other than to decide it will be "OSI approved."
In addition to a Linux version, there will be Macintosh and Windows versions of the software as well.
"This is a Trojan Horse into business. Microsoft Project and project management is a very defined entity. The fact we can deliver OpenProj in there really opens an avenue for all open source software."
While O'Brien expects his people to continue doing the "heavy lifting" of OpenProj development, he hopes community members will help in integrating it with open source ERP and CRM packages, and in providing localization.
Talks are also underway with OpenOffice about integration with that suite, and the current version already reads Microsoft Project files.
O'Brien believes the latest version of Microsoft Office leaves Big Green vulnerable to this kind of open source attack.
"Microsoft Project is part of the Office Suite. But it’s not packaged in Office 2007, in any of their suites, and it sells for $1,000 stand-alone. Companies have to go to purchasing, and it’s very expensive. It’s something like $600 even for a corporation."
O'Brien, who also sits on the board of Adopt an Orphanage, seems very anxious to make certain OpenProj becomes part of the open source family, and will be doing events with all the movement's leaders over the next few months.
"We’re expecting up to 11 million users, very quickly." Those are Harry Potter numbers, and if OpenProj can achieve them, Marc O'Brien will become a powerful open source wizard indeed.