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LinuxPlanet: Suites for the Sweet: StarOffice 5.2

May 16, 2000, 16:55 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"Editor's Note: With this review we begin a four-part series on the major office suites in the Linux world: StarOffice, KOffice, WordPerfect Office 9, Applixware Office for Linux, and the GNOME Office Suite. All five are in varying stages of completion: StarOffice, Applixware, and WordPerfect are all fairly mature products with proven track records, while KOffice and GNOME Office Suite are both in relatively early stages of development."

"Taken as a collection, StarOffice provides a thorough and complete suite. Hints from Sun indicate that it will gain prominence in the coming months as its new owners prepare for yet another assault on Microsoft's dominance of the corporate desktop."

"If we have any complaints about StarOffice, it's that there's no way to extract individual components from the whole for use outside the somewhat strange and Windows-like StarDesktop. StarOffice takes a while to start, and tends to be memory-hungry. Users who already have an established desktop environment tipping their base system requirements to the high end may find it frustrating to have to deal with a desktop environment within a desktop environment."

"On the other hand, for a company preparing for the transition to a Linux desktop, or a company dealing with the sorts of issues having a more heterogeneous environment in place entails, StarOffice's insistence on owning the desktop begins to make more sense. Having the techs using the same software as the suits, who in turn are using the same software as the clerical pool, makes for a smoother environment for all. There's no need to deploy a single operating system to continue to get work done if everybody's working with the same software. Sun clearly has a stake in corporate IT decision-makers picking up on this wisdom, and it will be interesting to see their ongoing efforts in this area."

"For most users, StarOffice will provide everything they could need and a few extras that show the software is designed with some care and a sense of quality. We recommend it on the basis of its own merits as well as its unbeatable price: free."

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