Big Blue will initially offer code that has already been developed as part of its Lotus Notes product, before making ongoing contributions to the features and code quality of the free office suite.
The company will also include the OpenOffice.org software in its products.
John McCreesh, marketing project lead at OpenOffice.org, said that the organisation welcomed IBM's contributions.
"This is great news for the tens of millions of users of OpenOffice.org and the thousands of individual members of the community," he said.
However, McCreesh warned that it is important for IBM to pledge its commitment to the ISO OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard.
"ODF is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the IT industry to unify round a standard, and deliver lasting benefit to all users of desktop technology," he said.
Mike Rhodin, general manager of IBM's Lotus division, maintained that his company will back ODF development.
"We believe that the collaboration will lead to an even broader range of ODF-supporting applications that draw from the OpenOffice.org technology," he said.
Rich Green, executive vice president of software at Sun Microsystems, which founded the OpenOffice.org project seven years ago, said that the firm looked forward to working with IBM and called on other companies to join the community.
"Open source software and ODF are having a profound impact around the world, with numerous communities and organisations coming together to support these initiatives and governments, and corporations and schools standardising on the software," he said.
"We invite others to join us in the community and participate in building the future as OpenOffice.org and ODF continue to gain popularity across the planet."
Openoffice.org software has been downloaded almost 100 million times since 2000.
IBM joins OpenOffice.org community
By Matt Chapman on Sep 12, 2007 8:14AM