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ZDNet: Evan Leibovitch: Can a Sun change its spots?

Jul 25, 2000, 21:37 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

"Last week I downloaded StarOffice for Linux for the first time. It's something I'd never thought I'd do, but a number of circumstances have both forced my hand and made the move much easier."

"First off, finding a decent word processor for Linux has been more of a headache that I'd have wanted. Corel WordPerfect randomly crashed when I tried to edit Microsoft Word documents. Applixware Words didn't crash, but it refused to read the files at all -- and its import and other functionalities leave much to be desired. In fact, Applixware in general was roundly thrashed at the last meeting of my local user group. (A shame, too, because as far as I know, it was the first shot at a proprietary commercial application that uses the copylefted GTK library.)...."

"Then there was always StarOffice, the suite that Sun bought a few quarters ago and made freely downloadable (if not open source). It looked good enough, but I was wary of Sun's intentions. When it was first introduced, the licensing and distribution schemes for the free StarOffice were so convoluted that they simply cried out for conspiracy theories."

"My own pet belief was that Sun was turning StarOffice into the front of a bait-and-switch routine, leading users into an ASP hell ruled by Sun's own server line. It was a reasonable scenario, but this theory came to a crashing end last week when Sun announced it would open source StarOffice. Indeed, Sun isn't just open sourcing it, but is putting the whole project under the genuine GNU Public License (GPL) -- as well as a home grown Sun alternative created for those who hate the GPL."

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