First Look: StarOffice 6.0

Thursday May 30th 2002 by SmallBusinessComputing Staff
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Sun Microsystems' enterprise pricing at $25-$50 may provide a viable and affordable alternative to proprietary Office suites.

Wayne N. Kawamoto
Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com

Sun Microsystems announced general availability of it StarOffice 6.0 software, the company's highly anticipated, full-featured office productivity suite that runs across multiple platforms, including Linux, Solaris and Windows.

According to the company, StarOffice 6.0 software provides customers with an economical alternative to proprietary office productivity suites that are expensive and have restrictive licensing policies. With StarOffice 6.0 software, consumers and enterprises may save at least 75 percent in licensing costs. Additional savings can be realized through Sun's user-based pricing model, flexible upgrade policies, and the potential extension of the life of existing hardware.

For enterprise customers, StarOffice 6.0 software is priced on a tiered, per-user basis, ranging from $50 to $25 (based on volume). The StarOffice 6.0 office productivity suite (branded StarSuite in Asian markets) retail offering has a U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $75.95. Education customers pay only for the cost of the media (CD-ROM) and shipping. Sun continues to support the availability of a free version of office productivity software through a no-charge download through the open source project at http://www.openoffice.org. StarOffice 6.0 is available for purchase at http://www.sun.com/staroffice and through major software retailers, software and hardware OEM vendors, Sun account representatives, and other Sun channels.

StarOffice 6.0 Features
The company says that its StarOffice 6.0 software is a full-featured office suite available in 10 languages that performs day-to-day tasks, such as creating documents, working on spreadsheets and creating presentations on the Linux, Solaris and Windows platforms. Users may find all the features they expect available in a familiar, easy-to-use, integrated, and configurable interface. Through Software AG's database engine Adabas D, StarOffice software may deliver integrated database functionality on all platforms. StarOffice 6.0 software also works transparently with a variety of file formats, enabling users familiar with other office suites, such as Microsoft Office, to open, modify, and share files.

StarOffice 6.0 software uses an open and published Extensible Markup Language (XML) based file format as its default, enabling users to use widely available tools to open, modify, and share StarOffice content. Users may use more robust Microsoft Office import and export filters, including support for Office XP, redesigned dialog boxes, additional templates, graphics, clipart and enhanced, revamped help.

The Asian language versions of StarOffice 6.0 software, known as StarSuite 6.0 software, add support for Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese and Korean languages. Additionally, the integrated desktop has been removed to support native desktop environments such as Common Desktop Environment (CDE), GNOME and Windows.

Building upon the success of previous downloadable versions, the boxed retail version of the StarOffice 6.0 office productivity suite includes the software CD, setup guide, user manual, support and web-based training. The software package supports Linux platforms, the Solaris and Windows 95 through Windows XP operating environments.

For more information, customers can call 800-786-7638 or access Sun's Web site at http://www.sun.com/staroffice.

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