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StarOffice 8: Office Killer? - page 2

Alternatives to Microsoft Office

  • March 6, 2006
  • By Martin C. Brown

StarOffice is available on three primary platforms: Windows, Solaris and Linux. The difference between StarOffice on different platforms is minor and really only noticeable because of the differences in the GUI environment of these systems. There are some minor interface differences, but otherwise few users would be able to distinguish the difference between StarOffice on the different platforms. Even keyboard combinations are retained across the different platforms making it much easier to migrate between platform and Office suite.

There are two different versions of StarOffice available, a standard and an enterprise edition. The main version on offer is StarOffice 8 standard edition available from Sun (either shipped or downloaded) and suppliers as a standard software package. To larger customers, supplied directly by Sun (and their partners), a special Enterprise version is available. The Enterprise edition includes three additional components designed to aid the deployment of StarOffice in a corporate environment, especially when replacing an existing Microsoft Office installation. The three tools are:

  • Macro Migration Wizard--Eases the migration of Visual Basic macros so that they can be used within StarOffice.
  • Document Analysis Wizard--This helps businesses determine the amount of work required to migrate their existing office documents to StarOffice from Microsoft Office.
  • Java Desktop System Configuration Manager--Aids the deployment of StarOffice across multiple machines, allowing you to simplify the configuration of multiple machines from a single point.

StarOffice 8 is available for $99.95, or just $69.95 if you download it, rather than purchase a boxed version. For customers buying licenses in bulk, you can get StarOffice 8 for as little $35 per seat in volumes above 10,000. That inevitably compares favorably to the cost of Microsoft Office, either at the full or discounted licensing prices available.

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