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Updated StarOffice creator Marco Boerries has confirmed that Sun intends to GPL the productivity suite. Sun made the official announcement today, but leaking to reporters earlier, Boerries said that source code for the next version of StarOffice, 6.0, will be available for download from 13th October.

The code will be available from OpenOffice.org, which will be managed by Collab.net. StarOffice 6.0 itself will introduce "the next generation of separate applications and componentised services." It will also mark the return of StarOffice to the Mac - Sun plans to produce a version later this year.

Boerries may have been cool on GPL in the past, but more recently he's been developing a nice turn of phrase. He told Reuters earlier: "Over the next three years, we'll have a similar impact on the office-suite market as Linux did to the operating-system market."

And now he describes the StarOffice open sourcing as "the single largest open source software contribution in GPL history." We think he's multiplying lines of code by units shipped here, but who knows?

Sun does seem to have been building bridges of sorts to the open source world. Last week it announced that a string of Linux outfits, including Caldera, Red Hat, TurboLinux, MandrakeSoft and SuSe, had agreed to distribute StarOffice. GPLing it will have helped here, and should also help Sun hang onto the gigs in the future. So long as it behaves itself, that is. ®

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