December 7, 1998 7:25 AM PST

Star offers desktop suite for free

Software maker Star Division said today that it is offering the latest version of its desktop application suite for free download off its corporate Web site.

StarOffice 5.0 Personal Edition is a productivity package which runs on Windows 95, 98, NT, Solaris, Linux, O/S 2, and Java, and consists of word processing, spreadsheet, graphic design, presentation, database front-end, HTML editing, mail, event calendar, and formula editing applications.

By offering the suite for free, the company is hoping to populate the entrenched worldwide marketplace occupied by such big players as Microsoft, Lotus, and Corel, and to win more than 10 million new StarOffice users by January 1, 2000.

Document filters provide interoperability with Microsoft Office products, up to Microsoft Office 2000 which ships next year.

Star Division is selling the other two commercial editions of its office suite to the public. For $39.95, customers can get a hold of StarOffice 5.0 Personal Edition Deluxe which includes the Product CD-ROM, a collection of templates, clip art, Web graphics, and more than 250 fonts. Customers can also buy StarOffice 5.0 Professional Edition for $169, with a five-person license--Small Business License--for $499, the company said.

Star Division was founded in 1985 in Hamburg, Germany. The company recently moved its headquarters to Fremont, California and plans to go public on Nasdaq in 1999.


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