For many enjoying non-Microsoft computing environments, StarOffice
is an important application. Not only does it provide a complete
office productivity suite for Linux, OS/2, and Unix, it is also able to open
and save Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets. For Windows users, it
is a low cost alternative to Microsoft Office with many advantages.
Table Of Contents
A lot more information is available at Sun Microsystem's
StarOffice Web Site,
but here is a list of the major modules:
- StarOffice Writer: Word Processing. Similar in use and capability to
Microsoft Word, but without the animated paper (this "feature" will
never be added). Can import and export Word documents.
- StarOffice Calc: Spreadsheet. Similar to Microsoft Excel. Can import
and export Excel spreadsheets.
- StarOffice Impress: Slide show production. Similar in capability
to Microsoft PowerPoint. Can import many PowerPoint slide shows - some
editing may be required.
- StarOffice Draw: A drawing program for creating illustrations. Similar
in use and capability to Microsoft Paint.
- StarOffice Base: AdabasD database, a program of similar scale to
Microsoft Access. Front end to access Oracle, Informix, Sybase and others.
- StarOffice Schedule: A network calendar and scheduling program.
- StarOffice Mail: An e-mail client program, similar in capability to Eudora
or Outlook Express (except for the virus propagation part). Front end for
access to Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes.
- StarOffice Discussion: A newsgroup client for use with Internet newsgroups.
StarOffice has a number of distinct advantages
over MS Office that make it attractive to Windows users as well.
- Virus Resistance: Microsoft Word and Excel account for some 80% of
viruses plaguing business today. Combine them with Microsoft Outlook and you
have a virus transmission machine without precedent. Star Office stops
Microsoft Word and Excel viruses cold.
- Low Cost: StarOffice is free, while the cost of Microsoft Office
continues to increase (about $500 for most licenses) and the license terms
get tighter and tighter (registration is now mandatory). Monopoly in action.
- Stability. Even running on Windows, StarOffice crashes much
less than Microsoft Office. On other platforms crashes are rare. Greater
stability means higher employee productivity.
- Performance. StarOffice's high performance means you do
not have to upgrade your computers to the level required for MS Office 2000.
Better performance means higher employee productivity.
- Freedom to Choose. Use the best environment for
your specific jobs, yet maintain consistency. Microsoft Office is designed to
prevent you from using non Microsoft products or even older versions of
Microsoft products, even if they may better suit your needs.
- No Animated Paper Clip!. I Don't think this needs any explanation.
- StarOffice Interoperates with MS Office.
StarOffice provides excellent file import/export compatibility with Microsoft
Office. While not 100% perfect, compatibility between StarOffice and
Microsoft Office is generally better than compatibility among different
versions of Microsoft Office.
- No "Upgrade Madness". StarOffice maintains compatibility
among versions. Microsoft's goal is to use compatibility and support issues to
force upgrades of all their products every two to three years (generally
forcing you to upgrade your computers as well).
- The Future - StarOffice Portal. Soon to be released, StarOffice
Portal, Java based and server-centric, will brings the office productivity
suite to "thin clients" and roving users years sooner than
Microsoft Office.NET will be ready.
Portal will allow companies to achieve much lower costs without
sacrificing productivity. A development environment and Java Beans will be
provided for enterprise deployment.
- ASPs Gearing Up: "Applications Service Providers" will be offering
StarOffice over the Internet to serve roving users. Compared to StarOffice
Portal, Microsoft Office requires relatively expensive solutions, like
Citrix Metaframe and SCO Tarantella for network
- Support Ethical Business Practices. Microsoft's business practices
have been proven illegal in court, and there isn't much question about their
disregard for ethics either. Every dollar you send to Redmond is a vote to
crush smaller, more innovative American businesses.
Disadvantages of StarOffice vs Microsoft Office
- Import/Export can never be 100% perfect for all the more complex and
obscure features of Microsoft Office. Microsoft constantly changes them to
prevent compatibility and to force upgrades. StarOffice is generally more
compatible with Microsoft Office than Microsoft Office is among its different
versions. Note: StarOffice's ability to import of Microsoft PowerPoint slide
shows is weak compared to it's ability to import Word and Excel documents.
- Macros and Windows automation features do not work automatically (and some
don't work at all). If they did, StarOffice would be as virus prone as
- "Well, it just isn't from Microsoft."
How to get StarOffice
- Our clients can get StarOffice from
Automation Access simply by asking for it.
- To download from Sun Microsystems (about 68-Meg) just click on the
"Get it Free" logo at the top left of this page, or,
click right here.
- You can also purchase a package including the StarOffice CD and printed
documentation ($39.95 plus shipping) from
Sun Microsystems or
Micro Warehouse or
Amazon.com. From Sun you can also get just the CD and install sheet
($9.95 plus shipping).
- For StarOffice in languages other than English, buy or download