May 2, 2005 12:18 PM PDT

Sun plans July release for StarOffice 8

Sun Microsystems plans to release its next version of StarOffice in July, bringing new compatibility with its chief competitor, Microsoft Office.

The StarOffice software, which shares the same code base as the open-source OpenOffice, is used for tasks such as word processing and spreadsheet calculations. OpenOffice ships with Linux versions from Red Hat and Novell, the top sellers of the open-source operating system, and is widely used in the Linux realm.

Sun's new version of StarOffice, called StarOffice 8, will include "dramatically improved Microsoft Office compatibility," the company said on its Web site. StarOffice will support new features such as password protection for Word and Excel documents and spreadsheets; tables, paragraphs, page breaks and column breaks in Word documents; large Excel spreadsheets; Excel spreadsheet formulas; and PowerPoint AutoShapes.

Sun has said it is working to improve StarOffice's compatibility with Office through a partnership signed with Microsoft in April 2004. However, the compatibility improvements in StarOffice 8 predate that partnership.

Most of the improvements will be included in OpenOffice as well, Sun said in a statement Monday.

StarOffice 8 also has interface changes. The overall suite has streamlined, detachable and context-sensitive toolbars. Impress presentation software has multiple panes intended to facilitate creation of slide shows. And the Base database software has new wizards to automate several tasks.

StarOffice costs $59.95 to download, though per-user fees drop as low as $25 for purchases of 10,000 licenses or more. There will be a "nominal" increase in the cost of StarOffice 8, Sun said.

As with the current version, StarOffice 8 will run on Windows, Linux and Solaris operating systems for computers with x86 processors such as Intel's Pentium or Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron. It also runs on Solaris on Sparc processors. It will be available in 11 languages, Sun said.

Sun bought StarOffice in 1999 for $74 million and released the software as an open-source project in 2000.

10 comments

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I still...
prefer WordPerfect. WordPerfect Office 12 is by far the best release so far and it's a lot easier to use than either Word or OpenOffice. It also give you almost unlimited power of the formating of you document.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
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Good
Personal preferences are what make changes in market share happen. I bought Wordperfect version 5 (at teh extremely high price $500+ they once demanded) and while learning how to use it got a free copy of MS Word For Windows 2.0 at a MS User conference and quickly discovered that Word was far superior for my needs. Of course that was then and in the intervening time the only improvement I've liked was the addition of the inline spell checking, all the rest of the changes have meant little to nothing except the question of where did they hide the icons for the things I need this time?
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Economic Rate of Return (ERR) Functionalities!
Can anyone say if any of the spreadsheet programs that are integrated in Microsoft Office, StarOffice, OpenOffice or WordPerfect Office et cetera can deliver on Economic Rate of Return (ERR) Functionalities among the listing of spreadsheet formulas?

;-)
Posted by (187 comments )
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Try one of these templates
I honostly don't know if one of those apps comes with a built-in formula as you ask. (I suspect not.) However, here's a link to pre-existing Excel templates that might have what you're looking for:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT062100751033.aspx?iStartAt=1" target="_newWindow">http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT062100751033.aspx?iStartAt=1</a>

I'm a bit of a do-it-youself'er; are ERR formulas long and complex or something?
Posted by Richard G. (137 comments )
Link Flag
Please fix your JAVA, SUN
And stop wasting $$ to promote a product that has relatively no popularity around the world.
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
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what's wrong with java?
(eom)
Posted by scdecade (329 comments )
Link Flag
More baseless blather
You need to start basing your rants on some facts. Is one intelligent remark too much to ask for?

Java has no major issues, although I am not a fan of the 1.5.x generics. Performance has increased, and is trivially slower the C++ in many types of programs, although it is not a replacement for more established languages, it is a good choice for many types of apps.

As for star office, it is fine. I wouldn't use it myself, but it is perfectly usable. I really like the beta version of open office, they have really improved things without adding the bloat that slowed dowsn office and made it a poor, as well as an stupidly expensive, choice.

Of course, you are neglecting the fact that the team that works on star office is a different one then the team that works on java. Working on one does not slow down work on the other.
Posted by pcLoadLetter (395 comments )
Link Flag
Stop doing StarOffice, cut your cost !!!
Drop all desktop products! cut your cost! You guys never know how the consumer market work.

Drop StarOffice
Drop JDS
Drop Most of JES

Keep Java,Solaris...and ...fire Scott
Posted by publicstatic (11 comments )
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