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Sun Wrestles Itself With StarOffice 9

Nov 20, 2008, 13:03 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"Much of the marketing material sent out prior to StarOffice's release emphasizes the product's advantages over Microsoft Office, describing it as "the leading alternative" (even though it is well behind in market share), and, at $60 for the standard version, significantly cheaper. The material even tries to take advantage of the fact that StarOffice has stayed with traditional menus and toolbars not followed Microsoft Office's lead and converted to ribbons. "Is new always better?" the material asks, and, pointing to the ribbon, "Does this look like a Windows application?"

"But Sun also gives attention to differences between StarOffice and OpenOffice.org. Unlike OpenOffice.org, Sun states, StarOffice comes with indemnity against patent infringement, and comes with consulting and support services -- apparently forgetting that Sun has offered support for OpenOffice.org for some time now.

"This sort of self-wrestling is perhaps inescapable, because, although StarOffice 9 is a major advance over the previous release, with enhanced notes and multiple page views in Writer, tables in Impress, improved VBA support throughout, native support for Mac OS X, and hundreds of other enhancements, most -- probably all -- of these improvements are shared by OpenOffice.org 3.0. What's more, OpenOffice.org was released more than a month ago, making StarOffice's enhanced features seem like old news."

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