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Sun Microsystems: Payment Model To Be Implemented for StarOffice 6.0

Mar 19, 2002, 19:10 (69 Talkback[s])

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - March 19, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced enhanced support offerings for the upcoming release of StarOffice 6.0 that will expand the reach of the popular office productivity suite. Maintaining its commitment to providing the best value and most cost-effective solutions in multi-platform, full-featured office productivity software, Sun will continue to enable a no-charge download of the OpenOffice.org version of the application through the OpenOffice.org project.

In addition, Sun will fully support the on-going community development process through OpenOffice.org (www.openoffice.org) and will discontinue the no-charge download of StarOffice, instead, offering it for sale through a variety of channels. Specific pricing will be announced when StarOffice 6.0 is available in the coming months.

"The momentum of StarOffice 5.2 carried over to StarOffice 6.0 with nearly one million requests for download of the beta version in just three months," said Mike Rogers, vice president and general manager of desktop and office productivity, Sun Microsystems. "Through the StarOffice 6.0 beta program, we gained valuable customer feedback saying they would prefer to pay for a product from Sun that was bundled with value-added support and services. Therefore, our enhanced product and support offerings will meet the diverse needs of our broad customer base, specifically, office productivity tools for a multi-platform environment."

"It's clear that Sun is moving to a StarOffice business model that is sustainable for the long haul," said Dan Kusnetzky, IDC's vice president of system software research. "With this new structure in place, organizations of all sizes are certain to feel more comfortable knowing that the software will be commercially supported and will continue to evolve with the needs of the market."

With the enhanced services and support, StarOffice software (branded StarSuite in Asian markets) maintains its commitment to providing a low cost, full-featured office suite for day-to-day tasks, such as creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases on Linux, Solaris and Windows platforms. StarOffice software will continue to target cost conscious organizations in both the public and private sector who are evaluating their current office productivity budgets.

StarOffice software will be provided at a nominal charge based on a tiered, per-user structure. Sun will offer services and support contracts for help desk and end-user support, training, software upgrades and deployment and migration services.

Sun will continue to distribute StarOffice 6.0 through agreements with hardware OEMs, Linux distributors and software vendors. New Sun hardware, including SunRayTM appliances and Solaris workstations, will continue to come pre-installed with the StarOffice 6.0 software, once launched.

"StarOffice is a great value for consumers and small businesses," said Eric Bassat, director of software at NEC CI, product marketing EMEA. "By pre-installing StarOffice on all new PC systems from NEC, we are able to provide customers with an essential application for both their Home and Office needs."

"We are very excited to see a new version of the best office suite available on Linux," said Frederic Bastok, co-founder and CTO of MandrakeSoft. "More and more corporate users are switching to Linux on desktops, so providing them an office suite fills an important opportunity."

StarOffice 6.0 also will be offered to end-users through various retail channels. The retail package will include the software CD and user manual, Web-based training, a bundled support incident certificate and availability on Linux, Solaris and Windows platforms. It will continue to be priced under $100. The education market, which will be handled by the Sun Education line of business, will pay only for the cost of the media (CD-ROM) and shipping.

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