Feeds

StarOffice to eat MS share (probably)

Gartner fixes odds

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Sun Microsystems Inc's StarOffice office applications suite is expected to wrest a 10% market share of the desktop productivity software sector away from Microsoft by 2004.

Technology analysts at Gartner Group predict that Sun has a "slightly better than 50:50 chance" to win a 10% slice of business away from Microsoft, as organizations start to count the cost of licensing changes being brought about with the introduction on August 1 of Microsoft's new Software Assurance renewable subscription scheme.

Palo Alto, California-based Sun has been giving StarOffice away free of charge ever since it acquired the software along with its German parent Star Division in August 1999. It has also made the code available to the open source community through openoffice.org. But as ComputerWire reported in February, plans are being readied by Sun to start charging Linux and Windows users of its StarOffice desktop office suite from version 6.0.

This is a move Gartner sees as increasing the viability of the package as an alternative to Microsoft Office. The thinking is that risk-averse businesses would feel more comfortable licensing low-cost software from a profitable business division of Sun than they would using free software that might not offer adequate support. Retail pricing is expected to be less than $100 a seat, with volume pricing pitched as much as 40% less than the single-user level.

Unlike the competition, the latest version of StarOffice will run on Linux and Solaris computers and every Windows PC based around a Pentium I architecture and above. For some sites, adopting Sun's desktop productivity program should help slow the PC upgrade cycle to a fraction of what is considered normal, the company contends. Sun sees the most likely early adopters of StarOffice as the millions of users still running Office 95 and Office 97 products, but the Linux edition might well push adopters toward the open source OpenOffice version.

While Sun can boast of five million downloaded and 20 million distributed copies of StarOffice, it is not known how many of those are actually being used. Some estimates suggest numbers are as low as 39,000.

© ComputerWire. All rights reserved.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.