Sun Microsystems announced that its StarOffice 6.0 office productivity suite will be generally available worldwide on May 21, 2002. The software runs on multiple platforms, including Linux, Solaris and Windows and is expected to provide customers "with an economical alternative to proprietary office productivity suites that are expensive and have restrictive licensing policies." The v6.0 office suite "has a simple, easy-to-use interface and contains full-featured applications including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics and database capabilities. It 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. 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."
From the text of the announcement:
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 http://www.openoffice.org. StarOffice 6.0 software will be available on May 21 for purchase at http://www.sun.com/staroffice 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 OpenOffice.org 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."
"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."
- Announcement 2002-05-15: "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." [source]
- OpenOffice.org XML project
- StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite website
- StarOffice 6.0 features
- FAQ document
- StarOffice 6.0 datasheet
- Sun Microsystems website
- "StarOffice XML File Format" - Main reference page.