Calibre was initially launched in October 2006 at a time when Mr Goyal was still a university student. It was called libprs500 at the time, and the original goal was quite modest. Kovid wanted to use his newly purchased Sony Reader PRS-500 with his preferred OS, Linux, but the ereader required software that was only available for Windows.
From those humble beginnings libprs500 quickly grew into the best open source ebook management tool anywhere. By the time I encountered it for the first time in early 2007 libprs500 already supported conversion from multiple formats and already had the basics of the ebook management tools it has today. It soon added support for more devices and ebook formats, and as the focus expanded beyond Sony's first ereader Kovid rebranded libprs500 as calibre in mid-2008.
The last major update for this app was about a year ago, and since then contributors have added many new features like:
- A grid view of book covers
- A new, faster database backend
- Virtual Libraries
- Conversion of Microsoft Word documents
- New metadata download sources
- Full support for font embedding
- An easy to use tool to edit the Table of Contents in ebooks
- Rewritten PDF Output engine
- New tool: "Polish books" that allows you to perform various automated cleanup actions on ebooks
Calibre is now actively used by over 3.4 million readers to support an unbelievable number of ereaders and ebooks. It now works with most Android tablets and smartphones, iOS devices, and more ereaders than you can even conceive of.
Congratulations to everyone who's been involved in the development of calibre, and of course, first and foremost congrats to Kovid.