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Sun to buy Linux competitor to MS Office?

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Sun is poised to buy German software company StarDivision, according to Germany's c't. The magazine says that a deal is rumoured to be ready to roll next month, with Star Division poised to become a wholly-owned Sun subsidiary, under the banner StarOffice GmbH. StarOffice is StarDivision's major product, a potential Microsoft Office rival available in numerous flavours, including Solaris, Linux and OS/2. StarDivision offered StarOffice free for personal users late last year, but although it won substantial publicity and large numbers of downloads as the Open Source movement came to prominence, the suite hasn't carved an obvious slice of the market for itself. StarDivision also opened a US office and said it planned an IPO for this year, so if there's a Sun deal in the offing, that's now off the agenda. The company does however look a good fit for Sun. It has a well-regarded cross-platform suite, which Sun already offers as a free download, and which Sun could groom as a serious competitor to MS Office. ®

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