Another shot across Microsoft’s bow: Google offers StarOffice for free

“Google Pack, Google’s software download package has been expanded to now offer StarOffice, Sun’s competitor to Microsoft Office. StarOffice, which Sun normally sells for $70 is free through Google Pack,” Scott Gilbertson reports for Wired.

“Like OpenOffice, StarOffice 8, the version offered through Google Pack, is a full-fledged office suite with a word processor, a spreadsheet app, presentation tools, database and some math and drawing tools. StarOffice supports most Microsoft Office formats, though not the new OOXML formats included in Office 2007,” Gilbertson reports.

“In fact, the main difference between StarOffice and OpenOffice is that the former includes proprietary clip art graphics, fonts, and templates as well as some additional Microsoft Office conversion tools,” Gilbertson reports.

“At the moment there’s no integration with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, the company’s online office suite, but it seem reasonable to assume that some sort of synchronization plugin will be available eventually,” Gilbertson reports.

Full article here.

“A person familiar with the arrangement between the two companies say that Google is paying Sun to offer Star Office for free,” Miguel Helft reports for The New York Times.

“Why? Analysts said that the alliance represents a more aggressive effort by Google to go after Microsoft’s core customers, by offering a free product that is likely to eventually be supported by advertising,” Helft reports.

Helft reports, “Google said in a statement: ‘We partnered with Sun to make a free version of StarOffice available in the Google Pack because we believe that users will benefit from access to a free, full-featured office suite for the desktop. And we’ve also always believed that users should have choice in their online and PC experience.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: StarOffice requires Windows XP or Vista. But, that’s not the point here. This is another example of the multi-front war against Microsoft Office being waged by Google and Apple which will, if successful, end up helping the Mac platform by opening office documents. The world made a mistake by standardizing on Microsoft’s OSes and Office apps. That mistake must be and is in the process of being corrected. Many Mac users think they need Microsoft Office, but they really don’t. Give Apple’s free 30-day iWork ’08 trial a try and see for yourself.

44 Comments

  1. I have the iWork 06 package and use Keynote frequently. It’s a very well thought out program and amazing in ways too numerous to mention. I don’t use Pages however because it won’t export to a truly press compatible PDF. At least the older version I have won’t. So… I’m wondering… is the new version better in that regard?

  2. iWork ’08 is really solid and an absolute joy to use. Numbers is better than I could have imagined. Everyone at our office (14 total) started using the suite last Friday and dumped the last semblance of Microsoft (Excel). Can’t tell you how good that felt.

    So all that is left on the radar is AutoCad…..

  3. Great news!

    Japan and Malaysian are standardizing on OpenOffice format documents. Several countries are switching to Linux. ANYthing that can build toward cracking the stranglehold of mediocrity foisted on the world by Microsoft products is a good thing!

    OpenOffice is okay, but it feels a bit clunky to me.

    Maybe I’ll drop by an Apple Store today and buy a copy of iWork.

    I’ve been playing with the demo and it seems pretty good. I’ve got a bit of a learning curve to look forward to, since I’ve been using AppleWorks since it was ClarisWorks v2… 12 years? YIKES!

  4. Hey Nuclearkid…

    Get VectorWorks and kiss AutoCRAP goodbye!
    Talk about bloated, irritating, anti-intuitive, slow and sucky applications… AutoCAD is right down there in the same league with Windows and Office.

  5. I’ve been using iWork ’08 since I recieved it on 10 August. So far, I’ve have no problems…well, I take that back. When I open templates in Pages, the default language is Spanish. Anyone know how to change the default?

    As for Numbers, I’ve used it extensively since then. While my spreadsheets activity is very small, you can clearly see the effort that Apple has put into this application. The little things that you would not have thought of but really makes sense in their implementation is incredible. It is so much easier than Excel.

  6. an important point in the MDN take is that hist will help by opening doc formats.

    when Mac users, windows (shudder) sufferers and linux users can all easily trade docs in an open format with multiple office tools, MS will be forced to actually compete, which means a) better prices and b) they might actually have to improve the program. (goddess forbid!)

    if Sun, Google, the OSS people and Apple can keep it up, good things will come…..

    i look forward to a day that i can send a single doc to users of Pages, Word, StarOffice, and KWord and they all get the EXACT same thing, can edit it, and send the changes to anyone else, with ease!

  7. Of course anyone who’s used Office 2007 knows that OpenOffice and StarOffice are light-years behind. Office 2007 has an excellent new interface that makes good looking documents, spreadsheets, and presentations easy to create! And all of those advanced features that were previously hard to find in Office (and don’t exist in OpenOffice) are now a lot easier to find a use.

    But, alas. You guys are haters and will never see the virtures that Microsoft brings to the industry. I, on the other hand, look forward to having the chance to play with iWork and see what it has to offer. If you guys are right (and that’s always hard to gauge), maybe I’ll be impressed!

  8. shen:

    That format will probably be OOXML: Microsoft’s! When OOXML receives certification as standardized, it will be used by the millions of Office users. Of course OpenOffice and iWork will then be able to open AND save in the OOXML format. I look forward to that day as well!

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