Orange launches 'Open Office'

Orange launches 'Open Office'

Summary: The company says its home-worker service portfolio won't be confused with the open-source office-applications suite

TOPICS: Networking

Orange has repackaged some of its services for flexible workers into a portfolio called "Open Office".

Users of Orange Business handsets will be able to choose from a variety of home-worker services, including home broadband, the Wi-Fi/GSM dual-mode phone system called "Unique", mobile email, the Business Everywhere datacard and some dedicated tariff schemes.

"Our research indicates that increasing levels of home and flexible working will be one of the defining business trends of this decade," said Neil Laidler, acting vice president of Orange Business Services UK. "Rather than daily commutes to a fixed place of work, employees will increasing expect to work productively from a variety of locations, whether at home or on the road."

Customers using Open Office will be offered one bill for all the services, as well as dedicated customer services support.

However, it is possible that there might be some confusion over the name chosen by Orange UK for this portfolio, as there is also a well-known open-source office-applications suite called

The only reason that those behind the software suite do not use the name "Open Office" is the registration of that trademark in the Netherlands by an Ubuntu Linux-affiliated company. The co-founder of the Linux company, Wouter Hanegraaff, told that his company still occasionally falls foul of confusion generated by's internationally implemented nomenclature, but he wished Orange well with their UK-based venture.

"We think Orange has chosen a really great brand name," Hanegraaff said on Monday. "As long as it's the UK, we're not too worried. Should Orange want to extend their Open Office product to the Benelux under the same name, I'm confident that they'll contact us, as the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property has our brand nicely registered."

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As for, a spokesman played down any potential confusion that might be caused by Orange's chosen portfolio branding. " doesn't have a problem with it — it's unlikely to cause confusion in the marketplace," marketing project lead John McCreesh told "Our registered trademark is, and there's no hint of any orange colour in our branding."

A spokesman for Orange UK told that the telco's use of the name "Open Office" should not create any confusion because it did not refer to a software package, and the term was not yet a registered trademark in the UK.

Topic: Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Is this the best Orange can do?

    You can almost imagine how the meeting (well presuming they had one but maybe that is bestowing more forethought on this than it deserves) went for this decision at Orange.

    Amid some furious brainstorming, someone pulled the term Open Office out of their subconscious without realising that the popularity of the open source office platform is probably what planted it there in the first place. But under some pressure to come up with a title, they probably thought
    Andrew Donoghue
  • 'Open Office' doesn't have an international trademark? One would assume it would be registered in all countries. If I were Orange I think I could find better terminology.