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Sony Dumps Microsoft and Goes StarOffice!

 3:42 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is a shocker:

Sun Microsystems announced a deal Wednesday to install Sun's StarOffice software on some European Sony PCs, marking another defection from dominant Microsoft products.

By the end of the year, Sony will include version 6.0 of StarOffice on most consumer desktop PCs sold in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, according to Sun. Microsoft's Works package is currently used on most of those PCs.

Star Office is the Sun version of Open Office ( [openoffice.org...] )




 3:59 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Finally a large corporation recognises that putting all your eggs in one basket, means whoever's holding that basket own's your eggs.



 4:06 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Mmmm. They must be in it for the long haul because things aren't gong to change overnight. I wonder if we will hear of more stories like this as part of an orchestrated global shakeup of this Microsoft dominated market.



 4:29 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Anyone ever used StarOffice? How is it?


 4:30 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

In a related story..

MS accused of "kneecapping" Sun.

MS accussed of kneecapping and mugging java [washingtonpost.com]


 4:40 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I started to use it because it was free, but was skeptical. I tried it because I needed to upgrade my copy of Office 97. I was not up for paying $300-$600 per machine ($1500-$3000) and to continue paying that, just to use MS Office once in a blue moon. I'd limped by using a recent copy of Works, but the problem with it is it won't open all Office documents.

So, I started using OpenOffice late last winter and have grown to love it. It's installed on all my machines now. It opens all the back formats I have including some autocad files.

The spreadsheet and word processor are excellent. I think it is less bulky than MS and I've not crashed it yet. I'm sold on it and recently purchased StarOffice 6 but have not installed it yet. (Staroffice [wwws.sun.com] and OpenOffice [openoffice.org] are virtually identicle).


 4:48 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have used StarOffice, OpenOffice and the dreaded MS Office packages.. one distinct advantage is the cost, but more importantly cross-compatability with operating systems.

Also on a personal note got to HATE that paperclip...


 5:18 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have been using OpenOffice for more than a year now on Linux. While the early betas last year had some difficulties, the recent versions do a lot more than I actually need. I also find the conversion of MS formats to be sufficiently reliable (at least as good as between different versions of MSWord).

Even if I was running Windows for my daily work, I wouldn't see any reason to use the unproportionally expensive alternatives.

<added>But then, I didn't even know that Sony sells PCs in Europe... ;)</added>


 6:00 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

yeh, I got OpenOffice.org installed here as well, totally happy with it, but I think it is a bit weak in the spell check department (both the install and usage are a little bit weird), but overall, who needs M$ Office? Not me!


 9:29 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'd love to use OpenOffice or StarOffice, but here in the office we have a complicated Access database which is linked to Excel spreadsheets and Word documents... also the reports in Access are pretty intricate. How does StarOffice/OpenOffice handle such things as linking documents to database queries?


 9:33 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

From what little I've seen, OpenOffice and starOffice are fine alternatives to Microsoft Office. If I had the opportunity to re-evaluate and re-install our corporation, these would certainly give MS Office a run. A million for Office (which we paid) vs free for openoffice or a few tens of thousands for staroffice makes the decision to go with MS harder to justify. Of course, we are now an office shop, so it's just a dream.

Richard Lowe


 9:34 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to admit that I've been pretty impressed by MS Office's typo correction features. It seems to catch about half or more of my typos and fix them on the fly. I've learned to keep away from the backspace key for a split second to see if the problem will take care of itself. Switching to a product that was less capable at that would be inconvenient.

I don't have a copy of Office 11 yet, but I'm looking forward to checking out its XML support.


 12:15 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

About two years ago I saw a Sony Vaio system in the computer department of a large pharmacy chain here on the west coast of Canada with Star Office installed and proudly labelled so on the box.

Right around that time I installed it to try it out (don't remember the version number) but found it a little clunky. Heard the interface has been improved in later versions. This so?

The database used with it was Adabas as I recall.


 12:25 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

One of my co-workers installed OpenOffice at home a little while ago. He compared the word processor in capabilities to Word 6.0/Word 95 . While that may seem dated, he pointed out that the vast majority of business users don't take advantage of the great majority of the advanced functions built into newer versions of MS Office. You don't need Word XP to write a memo any more than you need a 3GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB of BWRAM (Bells and Whistles RAM).


 12:56 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

MS's pricing is the main problem, and Open office and Star office brings that to the fore. Basically MS products tends to offer "basic" versions which contain a lot of stuff you dont need (like whiz bang video stuff) as a "Home" version, then you have to pay extra for stuff that business really does need (like Powerpoint).

Not only that but you have to pay the same for an installation that maybe gets used 1 hour a week and an installation that gets used 40 hours a week. For 40 hours a week, yes the pricing is better but for one to say eight hours a week Office is grossly overpriced, especially when you have to update it and pay upgrade costs every year or so.

Personally i use Note Tab for around 95% of all my word processing, (it is open 10 hours a day) and have a 3 year old version of Office which i use mainly to open word documents that other people send me before i convert them to plain text.

Ive played around with Open office on a friends computer and it seemed excellent. If we need to upgrade our "office suite", the only option for us is Open or Star office. Sony's move is great news.

troels nybo nielsen

 11:51 am on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ahemm .... errh.. This decision of Sony shurely wouldn't have anything to do with Playstation vs. Xbox?


 12:58 pm on Dec 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

I tested OpenOffice some time ago, and I found myself very comfortable with it, but I found one big problem (at least for me): it didn't have spell check is Spanish (maybe actually already has) nor in Catalan (I think this would take more time someone decide to implement it).

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