Sun gives StarOffice ninth life
$34.95 for 3 support calls, update button
Little more than a month after the release of OpenOffice 3.0, Sun Microsystems has officially unveiled a major update to StarOffice, the OpenOffice twin that comes with a price tag.
Like OpenOffice 3, released to great fanfare in mid-October, StarOffice 9 can run on Mac OS X, a computer operating system used by a well-known worldwide cult. Plus, you'll find all sorts of other nifty new improvements you could just as easily get from OpenOffice, including a revamped "Start Center" front end, new icons, better PDF handling, a 1024-column spreadsheet, a tool for solving optimization problems, and more.
"Over 1,600 new features have been added since StarOffice 8," senior product manager Iyer Venkatesan told The Reg. "We've improved file sharing, ease of use, and productivity."
Yes, all 1,600 are also available from OpenOffice. StarOffice and OpenOffice use exactly the same open-source binary code base. But unlike OpenOffice, StarOffice will cost you money. A downloaded copy - available here - is $34.95. A shrink-wrapped retail box is $54.95 (MSRP). And volume pricing for enterprises and medium-sized businesses begins at $25 per employee head.
But you don't have to pay as much as you would have paid for StarOffice 8, which debuted three years back and sold for $69.95 per download.
Why would you pay for StarOffice 9 rather than download the free OpenOffice? Well, StarOffice gives you three free support calls - if you call within 60 days of buying. And there's a built-in update tool that automatically downloads new code when Sun spruces things up.
Or you may find yourself paying for StarOffice simply because you don't know any better.
You can also purchase enterprise support for StarOffice. But Sun offers this for OpenOffice too. ®
Credit where credit is due.
Folks often forget that it is SO that supports OO. Sun did not have to give code for OpenOffice from day one but they did and Sun deserves credit for their gifts to opensource. JMHO
SW Patents are fun...
MS likes to rattle around about owning some patents used in OOo, while Sun sits pretty in mutual assured destruction land, able to shield their customers from a long frivolous lawsuit.
It doesnt matter that your business will eventually win MS's suite, they'll tie up (a whole lot of) your cash, and thats in extra tight supply these days.
You also get...
...Adabas D as a commercial database app. Anybody remember when they dropped the image editor component (was still there in 5.1—pretty good one, actually, could use Photoshop plug-ins and everything; back then it was the clincher for me to buy SO because the GIMP was still a little rudimentary at that time)?