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Performance Computing: Starry-Eyed StarOffice

Nov 07, 1999, 16:22 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

"Originally developed by Germany's Star Division, StarOffice began as a cross-platform competitor to software products from Corel, Lotus, and Microsoft. Though StarOffice was the favorite of software reviewers, Europeans, and Linux aficionados (with the dearth of end-user applications for Linux, StarOffice stood out like the proverbial sore thumb), the software never made a dent in the American software market."

"Enter Sun Microsystems, which developed StarOffice in such a way that it was easy to port the package from platform to platform (there are Linux, OS/2, Solaris, and Windows 95/98/NT versions available). This cross-platform flexibility led Sun officials to reason that StarOffice could be extended to every desktop, no matter what the OS, by rejiggering it as a Java application suite and extending it even further as a Web-centric application. You won't need a Microsoft desktop-or a GNOME, or KDE, or OS/2 desktop, for that matter-the StarOffice desktop will replace them all."

"This takes direct aim at Microsoft, where the mantra is whoever controls the desktop controls the user, with the OS going along for the ride. The synergy between Windows and Office is how Microsoft manages to rule on the desktop. StarOffice is just Sun's latest attempt to elbow its way back onto the desktop."

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