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Sun Microsystems Announces Staroffice 6.0

Sun Microsystems Announces Staroffice 6.0 Software: Provides Dramatic Savings To Cost-Conscious Businesses Worldwide

Enterprise Pricing at $25-$50 Provides Affordable Alternative to Proprietary Office Productivity Suites

Santa Clara, California, USA. May 15, 2002.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced general availability of StarOffice 6.0 software, the highly anticipated, full-featured office productivity suite that runs across multiple platforms, including Linux, Solaris and Windows on May 21, [2002]. StarOffice 6.0 software provides customers with an economical alternative to proprietary office productivity suites that are expensive and have restrictive licensing policies. With StarOffice 6.0 software, consumers and enterprises can expect to save at least 75 percent in licensing costs. Additional savings can be realized through Sun's user-based pricing model, flexible upgrade policies, and the potential extension of the life of existing hardware.

For enterprise customers, StarOffice 6.0 software is priced on a tiered, per-user basis, ranging from $50 to $25 (based on volume). The StarOffice 6.0 office productivity suite (branded StarSuite in Asian markets) retail offering has a U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $75.95. Education customers pay only for the cost of the media (CD-ROM) and shipping. Sun continues to support the availability of a free version of office productivity software through a no-charge download through the open source project at StarOffice 6.0 software will be available on May 21 for purchase at and through major software retailers, software and hardware OEM vendors, Sun account representatives, and other Sun channels.

Sun has begun to roll this product out to customers worldwide. More than 1.8 million users at Fortune 500 companies, from industries such as financial services, retail, manufacturing, and high tech, as well as the government and education markets, are evaluating and deploying the StarOffice 6.0 software. These trials represent aggregate savings of over $200 million dollars in licensing costs alone, compared to current licensing costs from other vendors. Sun will continue to track user adoption and license cost savings.

"StarOffice 6.0 provides a cost-effective, compatible, and open alternative for enterprises and consumers looking for substantial savings," said Mike Rogers, vice president and general manager of desktop and office productivity software, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "Our enterprise customers worldwide are asking for freedom of choice and we're giving it to them with StarOffice 6.0 -- freedom from restrictive licensing and freedom from unreasonable pricing and forced upgrades. The more than eight million downloads of previous versions of StarOffice and 4.5 million downloads of indicate there is an overwhelming demand for a high-value, low-cost, multi-platform office productivity suite. We expect similar demand for StarOffice 6.0 software."

StarOffice 6.0 Features

StarOffice 6.0 software is a full-featured office suite available in 10 languages for day-to-day tasks, such as creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the Linux, Solaris and Windows platforms. Users will find all the features they expect available in a familiar, easy-to-use, integrated, and configurable interface. Through Software AG's database engine Adabas D, StarOffice software also delivers integrated database functionality on all platforms. StarOffice 6.0 software also works transparently with a variety of file formats, enabling users familiar with other office suites, such as Microsoft Office, to open, modify, and share files.

StarOffice 6.0 software uses an open and published Extensible Markup Language (XML) based file format as its default, enabling anyone the ability to use widely available tools to open, modify, and share StarOffice content. Users will also enjoy more robust Microsoft Office import and export filters, including support for Office XP, redesigned dialog boxes, additional templates, graphics, clipart and enhanced, revamped help. The Asian language versions of StarOffice 6.0 software, known as StarSuite 6.0 software, add support for Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese and Korean languages. Additionally, the integrated desktop has been removed to support native desktop environments such as Common Desktop Environment (CDE), GNOME and Windows.

"We have a heterogeneous environment so cross-platform support for Linux, Solaris and Windows was key in our decision to select the StarOffice suite, along with its ability to handle file formats from other suites," said Tim Brennan, manager, store services group, Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corporation. "In addition, our positive experiences with Sun's service and support group helped us feel that we could depend upon Sun. With StarOffice 6.0, we plan on having a full-featured office suite at a very desirable and affordable price, that also meets the needs of our users, regardless of what type of desktop."

"It was not only the cost savings and multi-platform support that raised our interest in StarOffice 6.0, but it was also the direction Sun is taking in adopting XML as the default file format that appealed to us," said Michel Barthelemy, chief technology officer for Auchan Groupe, the $23 billion French-based grocer/retailer. "With StarOffice, we estimate that we will have significant savings when compared to deploying other similar office suites; and the default XML file format gives us the choice of which vendor to use for our future office productivity and back office needs."

Building upon the unprecedented success of previous downloadable versions, the boxed retail version of the StarOffice 6.0 office productivity suite includes the software CD, setup guide, user manual, support and web-based training. The software package supports Linux platforms, the Solaris and Windows 95 through Windows XP operating environments.

Worldwide Distribution Commitments

StarOffice 6.0 software will be available through a variety of channels including Linux vendors, PC OEMs, software retailers, Sun's direct sales force and the StarOffice NOW program. OEMs such as Hyundai, MandrakeSoft, SuSE Linux, Turbolinux, and Ximian are planning to bundle StarOffice 6.0 software in their product offerings. Additional OEM relationships will be announced in the coming months.

"StarOffice is undoubtedly one of the most popular office suites for Linux. With remarkable improvements, StarOffice 6.0 meets the office productivity demands of our customers," said Petra Heinrich, vice president at SuSE Linux. "We are looking forward to making StarOffice 6.0 available to all users of SuSE Linux as soon as possible."

The StarOffice 6.0 retail package is planned to be available in e-tail and retail outlets in Asia, Europe and North America. Current master distributors include Amazon (USA,Germany, UK), Athena Global Services (France), Gem Distribution, Ltd. (UK), Global Software s.r.l. (Latin America), Intellitron Pty. Ltd. (Australia, New Zealand), Pearson Education GmbH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Pearson Technology Group (USA, Canada), SourceNext (Japan) and Tech Data (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark). Negotiations are underway for distribution in additional countries.

Enterprises interested in StarOffice 6.0 or StarSuite 6.0 software and support should contact their Sun account representatives. Enterprise Evaluation Kits are available that include the StarOffice 6 and the full documentation set in PDF. Sun's Enterprise Services organization will offer enterprises help desk and backline support, professional services including migration and deployment services, and educational offerings. Educational offerings include blended learning that includes web-based training, low-cost instructor-led classroom training, and customized on-site training. This offering includes a free web-based course that provides an overview to the components and features of the suite and is available through the Sun Web Learning Center at From online self-help to enterprise-level service, users can access high-quality support for the StarOffice suite in a way that best suits their business needs.

For more information, customers can call (800) 786-7638 or access Sun's Web site at

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See "StarOffice XML File Format."

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