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Sun Microsystems

Sun buys maker of StarOffice 134

Anonymous Coward writes "CNet reports that Sun has bought Star Division- the maker of StarOffice for Linux and other OSs. " Purchase price unknown, but it fits into Sun's strategy quite nicely.
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Sun buys maker of StarOffice

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  • Even /.'s venerable C=commodore 64 server cannot withstand the /. effect.
  • All things considered, seems like it has been remarkably stable. Very unlikely that the "outage" had anything to do with bugs or instability in Linux or Apache.
  • next to gnomehack, for no reason, next to my WindowMaker DockApps.

    Linux is a smorgasbord!
  • according to the /. uptime meter, its been up for 4 and a half days. So the last outage was obviously due to something other than the OS.
  • I don't think StarOffice will be absorbed into the Java Platform, being that the platform (at least the JavaOS part) just took a bullet [].
  • Will Corel Office ship on more than Intel?

  • Whether Sun cares about StarOffice for Linux or not, it's nice to have a company who will do things solely to spite Microsoft behind such a useful application. I just hope the development methodology isn't changed too much. No matter what they say now, it's a given changes will occur...
  • I guess that all the mp3 and vcd pirates out there on the net don't feel so invincible anymore. From the way I interpreted the story, this guy who was caught was just a regular guy like everyone else doing what a lot of us... ahem, YOU... do regularly. It seems harmless to host an ftp server with a couple hundred mp3's on it until someone gets fleeced for doing it. The worst part is that many of us justify such behavior by saying that the corporations are ripping us off and that the artists benefit rather than lose out. But none of those excuses are going to save this guy from what looks like a hefty fine and possibly jail time. What's this guy gonna tell job interviewers in the future... "it was just an mp3 server?"
  • This is a Good Thing(tm). Now that there's a company like Sun backing them up, it'll go a lot further. With Linux office suite being the only missing piece of the puzzle, hopefully Sun can get things moving.

    I'm not saying that StarOffice is a perfect product - it's still a little rough around the edges. But it'll be a whole lot easier to pitch this to the typical PHB now that there's a billion-dollar company behind the product. `

  • please delete the previous post... attached to wrong article
  • What's going with /.

    For a while I was getting broken HTML ( basically HEAD and TITLE tag and not much more .)

    This site is quickly becoming one of the last stable ones on the net.
  • Besides Applixware, there's also StarOffice, plus there's a suite coming from the KDE folks.

    But hey, if Sun wants to make some folks in Redmond to start packing their shorts, this is a definitely a way to do it. Imagine what pumping a few million dollars worth of R&D into StarOffice would do? Heh, heh...

  • I think the chance of Sun dropping the Linux, Windows, and other versions of the application are almost nil. It would make absolutely no sense to do so since it is entirely likely that these platform potentially account for that majority of sales for this product. It is definately in Sun's best interest to provide cross platform alternatives to M$ Office and I am sure this was a major factor in their selection of StarOffice over other similar products.

    I view this as good news, not only for the Linux community, but for the software industry as a whole. The big question however is whether Sun will be able to effectively market the product and do the work necessary to convince enough users that this is a viable alternative to M$ Office.
  • No. Unixland is more like : startx, xterm,xterm,xterm,xterm, netscape ( wait 5 minuts),kill netscape(DNS lookup hanged again),

    That's pretty much it ..
  • Sun is bringing a well needed balance to the computer industry. Largely with the success of Java and Linux, Sun is riding a wave that will likely continue. It is unfortunate to see the Slashdotters (younger every day) rip apart Sun for fighting for choice in the computer industry.

    But then again, it is unfortunate to see the rapid consolidation in this and other industries which create great giants that endanger the smaller companies which create for great diversity and innovation. M$ and Sun, Wallmart and Amazon and the others should be held to a high standard, because we are learning that Big Brother is not government.

    And yet heartening is the Linux success. Created by technical vision and prowess, through a distributed and virtual community, Linux represents the power of a grass roots effort to level the playing field.

    Today Linux represents the strength of the people over the corporations. Tomorrow Linux will be the server platform of choice the Internet. Sun will eventually stop competing with the people and replace Solaris with Linux in it's formidable hardware products. And they will ensure that their Java software platform is the Internet language of choice, competantly hosted on Linux to service the array of consumer devices, including Windows.

    The Open Source community is wise to remember that it is freedom of choice, the abillity to innovate, and openness that is our passion. Linux is our finest offspring, which has now grown and is ready to live a life of it's own, in a corporate world. It is time for us to build upon it, but more importantly to relentlessly drive forward creating new technologies that are socially functional by empowering individuals and communities.

    OPEN SOURCE JAVA! IF they won't open source it, let's write something better!

    OPEN SOURCE SLASHDOT! FREE THE LATEST AND GREATEST CODE! Open source, Freedom of Speech and the Right to gather are more important than Slashdot.
  • It is not StarOffice fault ... It is whole X thing being much slower than Win GUI subsystem.
    Have anyone ever seen software size of MS Office running fast under X ???
    It can't be programmers fault, there are smart programmers outside of MS after all , so the only explanation is : they have to work with what they have which right now means X. Results are quite obvious.
  • StarOffice would be attractive to a cashed-up Red Hat. Not an option now.

    If they do it right, Corel is going to cream Red Hat in the desktop space. Red Hat need to find _something_ to generate revenues. It ain't gonna be software sales...
  • No. You are not being paranoid.

    Sun is really afraid of Linux. Not for their high end products but rather for middle-range ISP type stuff. Think about this: there are lot of shops with aging SUN boxes and being UNIX shops they are much more likely replace these boxes with Linux or SUN and not NT . So SUN has new competition in the market where they didn't have one before ...

    Microsoft is not scared of Linux taking over workstation market. That won't happen anytime soon for the simple reason that Linux is complete mess on that level. MS is little bit scared of Linux competing against NT but it is SUN who really should prepare for onslaught of both NT and Linux pressing into markets previously claimed by SUN.
  • I hope sun will improve the memory usage and improve the conversion of Word Documents to StarOffice docs. I wonder if they will open the source?
  • Sun is big company but it's propietary OS (Solaris7) it's not at the same height has linux. If solaris has to survive it has to compete with Linux, and one thing Sun can do to make people use Slowaris7 is to buy stardivision and to stop the production of it's linux line. Same they're doing with Netscape.. so to me this sounds more than a dangerous thing than a good one.
  • > Sun is the #1 Unix vendor in the world,

    I'm not sure about that. I thought that SCO held the no: 1 slot in terms of licenses or units shipped (though not in revenue). I also remember reading something recently (though I don't remember which eZine it was on) which said that the Monterey triad (IBM + SCO + Sequent) will command over 50% of the commercial UNIX market when it ships. Well, they didn't say commercial in the article, but they didn't mention any of the free *ix's, so that's my spin on it.

  • At least until there is a MacOS or MacOS X version of it. Seriously, there is NO SINGLE APPLICATION that would make me switch to Linux or WinBlows. If anyone want my money, they have to be on the Mac... And thats the way it is.

    Not that really has much to do with StarOffice or Sun. It would be nice to see a Mac version. Currently there is no office suite that runs on all platforms. There is only MS Office (which is pretty cool) for Mac and AppleWorks (which rocks).

    Another one would be nice, but if I cant run it... I dont want it. Simple.

    That goes for all applications/games/whatevers. It may be the bast program in the world, but I could not give a damn if it is not for the mac.

    Thats loyalty for ya.

    If you are wondering why I love the mac so much, it is because the Mac has saved my company literally tens of thousands of dollars on support costs compared to windows.. let alone Linux.

  • Yes .. i think so..
    Corel Wordperfect 8 runs pretty on my P166
  • There is no need of rewriting it in java... they've got already a java version at stardivision
  • Perhaps sun wants to go to the desktop with linux.
    This (buying staroffice) is a perfectly logical
    move. They _must_ fight microsoft where its
    strength are unless the don't want slowly loose
    marketshare to mssql.
    Don't laugh, many companies _will_ buy mssql
    for enterprise servers, ms wants to go there
    and they will get there. Give them two years of
    marketing (32 proc. for win2000 anybody?),
    and they will be there.
    If by than ms also still has _this_ kind of
    dominance in deskops and perhaps small servers
    and proprietary protocolls and UIs and can offer a really competing product - then say goodbye to sun.
  • hopefully this is a good thing..
  • So if Sun "hates OS specific stuff" as you say in your subject, why did they buy Star Div? Star Office runs on Linux, Win 9x and NT, OS/2 and Sun's own Solaris. That doesn't sound too OS specfic to me...
  • Because Linux competes with Solaris, most people seem to think that there is a high chance that Sun will drop the Linux port of StarOffice. But, that's not the only interpretation on the cards.

    Linux also promotes the case of Unix versus NT, so it's good for Solaris and hence also for Sun. Following this logic, Sun could well give themselves a shot in the arm at the bottom end of the market by adopting the Linux port for Sparc and selling their workstations and servers with it preloaded, at less cost than with Solaris. This would create a loyal following of Linux/Sparc users, some of whom will promote the case of Sun equipment in their companies, so there is definitely a plus side to Linux in the Sun portfolio.

    Sadly, because there are two sides to this coin, there is probably a massive political argument within Sun about it. Sigh.
  • principle rule of software development is that software never gets smaller or faster (That software is faster is only the result of faster hardware.)
    Then I'm doing something wrong... I wrote a net of (-3200) lines of code last week. And my new version of the MM5V3.1 meteorology forecast model is 20% faster, on the same hardware it's been running on!

  • I think the point about COM is interesting. Does StarOffice use CORBA? Is there a standard IDL interface defined for things like word processors, spreadsheets, email programs? I know that Sun has worked on this for years starting with Project DOE (Distributed Objects Everywhere). It would be really nice to see all the Unix application vendors unite to create and support a common interface so that us users can pick and choose the applications we want to use. (of course Emacs will implement them all :))
  • But the Mac interface severely limits the power user.

    Check out the research article at [].
  • Now, don't get me wrong; I think StarOffice is a pretty good piece of software. In fact, I got my company to buy it for me.

    That said, I will be switching to KOffice as soon as it is ready. Why? I just don't like using proprietary software. I will use it, if there is not a reasonable free substitute. But, my goal is to use all free software ASAP, for a number of reasons, including:

    • Platform independence (try running StarOffice on linuxppc lately?)
    • Multiple sources for bugfixes
    • Extendability/Customizibility
    • Sense of community
    • License flexibility/ability to share
    • Reasonable cost
    • The draconian laws the proprietary software vendors are getting passed (see the WaR3Z d00d smack down story)
    And, while I certainly have some hesitation, for ethical/moral reasons to do business with proprietary software vendors, for the most part, it's the practical reasons above that make me prefer free software. The only proprietary software I envision myself using next year will be a couple of Linux games. And, I believe that will resolve itself in the not too distant future.

    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page []
  • Well, maybe . . .

    The q is, is /. a crappy product or Linux?

    Slash seems a little unstable. MySQL has been blamed, and also Rob's code (at least on slashnet).

    Does this mean Linux is unstable? No, of course not.

    The reason many of us dislike m$ products in the underlying operating system and security model is so shithouse. It is poss to write crap programs on any operating system. It is difficult to write good, reliable software when your operating system cannot be relied upon. It does not follow that /. is unstable therefore Linux is unstable.

    It does follow that windows is unstable, therefore ANY program running on windows is unstable.

    -- Reverend Vryl

  • First of all... according to Netcraft, Slashdot runs Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) mod_perl/1.20 on Linux
    I suggest you check it out at

    Next... I find it amusing that some of these entries are traced back to Microsoft employees.
    Definately to Give it up guys.
    You've already lost. Star Office kicks Office 2000 but with no inherent vira breeding ground.
    Take your DOS and go home. You guys must be really desperate to post here. Also, I still get that stupid Microsoft Solutions Provider magazine.
    (yes were are licensed although we rarely use it)
    And the front cover reads.. "The Linux Threat."

    Man are you guys ever scared or what? What until the Corel version of Linux and the next version of Mandrake come out. Linux on the server is already a done deal. Next is Linux on the desktop.

    Time Frame: 9 Months

    By the way, my company just sent the K-Office people around $6,000.00 worth of hardware for their efforts.

    Having fun, Running Linux, Being happy! ;-)

    Linux... Because a GPL is WAY better than a GPF!


  • Because Linux competes with Solaris, most people seem to think that there is a high chance that Sun will drop the Linux port of StarOffice. But, that's not the only interpretation on the cards.

    If SUN had any sense at all they would drop their S-L-O-W-A-R-I-S and adopt Linux. Sun makes decent hardware, but their OS offerings are just terrible. After using Linux and then being exposed to Solaris 2.6 on the Ultra E450, I can honestly say that Solaris is stone aged stuff compaired to Linux. Sure Linux has some missing pieces like a Journaling file system and Linux doesnt scale as well as Solaris, but ultimately this will change.

    It's inexcusable that SUN ships Solaris with the stone aged tools provided with it. Working in the the a CLI on a sparc box is ten times less productive than doing the exact same thing on a Linux box. You'd think Sun would get their heads out of their asses and clean up Solaris and update it to something closer to the year 2000 instead of the early 80's. I had to spend at least a week downloading GPL'd software and compiling it with gcc under Solaris just to get the damn thing even marginally functional. So yeah, SUN has every reason in the world to shit in their pants over Linux. It's kicking everyone in the seat of the pants. SUN would better serve themselves by just getting out of the software business completely and sell hardware. Embrace Linux on all SUN hardware and be done with it. So I have no idea just what SUN has in mind by purchasing Star Division. It puts them in a unique position in the software world, but I doubt they will even take advantage of it. It's clear to me after using Solaris the past 3 months that SUN has fallen asleep. A pity we have to spend 55k for SUN hardware and have it ship with such amatuerish crap like Java and CDE. Come on SUN. Get with the program.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you can't think it through yourself, here's AC's handy guide.
    1. Sun is desperately pushing Java as the way to be cross-platform.
    1. StarOffice recently added a Java version of the suite,
    2. very prominently displayed on their site.
    1. Sun has now bought StarOffice, the only counterpart to MS Office available for Linux users. That's quite a big stick to have over Linux's future on the desktop.
    1. Sun is at best, ambivalent about Linux. And would rather see all the excitement about Linux be rerouted to their own X86 Solaris and especially Java. They are probably just a little less afraid of Linux than they are of MS.
    1. Sun has not had any way to make Linux developers take a really strong interest in Java, nor a way to cram it down our throats --til now
    1. Sun could deal Linux a serious blow by removing the Linux specific port of StarOffice since free Java runtimes on Linux are really rough. Notice they themselves have never provided one. Dropping everything but the Java version would effectively mean it goes away for Linux altogether until JRE for Linux improves drastically. That would probably be too late to matter.
    1. They would strengthen their enemy Microsoft quite a bit by taking such steps. (Not to mention completely piss-off everyone using StraOffice now. I have seen
    2. not one person who either used or wanted Java StarOffice) But given their bizarre overweening pride in Java, and general megalomania, it is a possibility that cannot be rationally assessed. You could total up the pros and cons of this move, conclude there is only a 30% likelihood of them making that kind of mistake and they might just step off and do it anyway like it was the most logical thing in the world: monster-sized egos are involved here.
    1. Maybe they just want leverage over Linux and are smart enough not to walk in shooting. So the Linux specific port lives on a while with Sun's sword dangling over it of course. And they will thereby accelerate Linux JRE development because of all the people who will thinik, what if Sun...When, in their opinion, the JRE is good enough, OS-specific StarOffice dies.
    The temptation for them to try to use StarOffice as a Java showcase sooner rather than later will be strong, so rational guesses about what they will do are no good really. Understanding this in their guts, many people just cannot help but fear the worst.
  • The Mac is a wonderful environment for real life users. Far better than Windows, and though I personally sit in front of KDE, I have to admit that for "non techie" users, it beats anything on Linux.

    There is, though, something that binds Mac fans and Linux fans together - we all appreciate a good design well implemented. And I think we would both respect that in each other's platform.

    Incidently, my plan for "ideal office network" consists of Mac workstations with Linux back ends.
    Two good products doing what they're great at.
  • Back when Lighthouse was swallowed, I was trying to buy some licenses of a package from them, and didn't get any responses. The web pages for their products disappeared. If asked why the pages disappeared, people within the company would say that the person who ran the web server was gone and that nobody could figure out how to copy the pages into the right location. No joke. Of course, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Sun was trying to hamstring OpenStep, which as a portable object API was a competitor to Java.

    I hope that StarOffice doesn't disappear, its programmers reassigned to writing an office suite in Java.

  • I really like how Star office runs currently -- i just hope that Sun doesn't do the same thing that AOL/Sun are doing with Netscape -- it would really put them in at a disadvantage.

  • I needed a decent word processor for my linux box and downloaded StarOffice. I was less than impressed with the 1 minute load time. I'm running a pentium 233 with 32 megs ram. Having to go and get a snack while my documents load is not acceptable. Star Office is a real bag, and I doubt Sun is going to do much about it. Abiword [] is much better. It takes about 2 seconds to start as opposed to a minute, and has a suprising amount of features for an open source project. Its also 3 megabytes instead of 100+. Check it out. This project deserves some more developers.
  • They can't speed it up -- principle rule of software development is that software never gets smaller or faster (That software is faster is only the result of faster hardware.)

    Your "principle rule" is simply not true. It is in fact possible to speed up software. 2.2.x versions of the Linux kernel are certainly faster than 2.0.x version--and not just because of the multiprocessing capabilities. I'd do a little homework before I made blanket statements like the one you just made.
  • Whats the point of squashing microsoft and letting sun step in? Slowaris isn't known for being fast, the gui still isn't quite there. Linux, well sun doesn't own linux, so it may be working on spinning off another company to market it, but who knows. It doesn't benifet me to have a bigger company working on the software. I feel that a small company with tighter releases does a much better job anyhow..

    After all, MS is in court about this, the seperation of OS from Applications.. i think Sun just shot themselves in the foot as far as the court battle goes.. microsoft will now easily be able to prove the volitility and marketeability of the market..

    I love sun, i love my sparcs.. but whats the point.. another sell, another buy, another company after your money :)
  • I can see it now... in a couple months, Sun will buy Moon [] and then they'll have the Sun, Moon and Stars.. :-)

    (sorry it's early saturday morning for me) :-)
  • Sun may be vulnerable to Linux/Intel, but
    they really have to fear for their enterprise
    market in long term.
    Well yeah, they may have the best platform for
    database etc. in enterprise shops, but
    When sun looses this, they are lost.
    Ever seen why corporations adopt exchange?
    Pleease, quality isn't a decision factor, its
    the desktop. The next logical steps from ms will
    be aimed to big servers (win2000 pretends to
    do 32 procs!), and they will again use the desktop
    as an attacking point. If you want to fight them
    in long term, fight them on the desktop or you
    are screwed.
  • One good thing about this is that Sun's programmers, and indeed, any programmers besides Stardivision's, know how to write shared libraries. Maybe we'll see some componentization of the code so StarOffice 6 won't need 40MB of contiguous RAM just to blow its nose.

    In the meantime, the Java thin-client front end to the Unix version fits well into Sun's thin desktop roadmap.

  • If sun lets star office/linux die, the only
    effect will be that the people at Corel (and abisource) will be very happy. Thats all, this isn't dangerous.
    Get real, nobody will buy Solaris in order to
    run an office suite. It's clear that nobody will
    get a food in the desktop market against ms unless
    he gives away at least the os for free.
    Hope sun knows this.
  • And as I posted above, linux is the only chance
    for sun to fight against the ms-stronghold of
    proprietary desktop "features" demanding for an
    proprietary server os. Let's spread the word to
    sun, just in case they don't know.
  • I've been saying this is going to happen for months. Sun is buying Star Division, Star Division makes a multi-platform office suite comparable to Microsoft. Sun also has some knowlegable Java programmers. I say Sun is going to revive their home thin client idea. Why are they reviving it? Because of the recent trends towards closed set top boxes and the like. Most people don't need an entire PC, they just want to surf the net and write e-mail. Sun is going to add an office suite into this so people can be a might more productive. If they decide not to go into home, inexpensive thin clients in an office would work nicely, especially since companies are shelling out thousands of dollars on Wintel boxes that will be obsolete in two years. Why pay upwards of 1000$ for a system when you could pay under 500$ and have all your software incliuded? Sure you can go the cheap PC route, but it's likely that those systems are already obsolete and aren't worth the money you paid for them.
  • Sun's largest markets are in the high-end server and high-end engineering and animation workstation markets. Sun is also primarily a hardware company, not a software company.

    While Linux certainly has the ability to run on high-end hardware, most folks buying Sun hardware are going to be running Solaris. Linux has some scalability and other problems in this market.

    For instance, one of the more popular engineering applications is Unigraphics, which is used extensively in the automotive and aerospace industries. UG will probably never run on Linux, especially considering Unigraphics Solutions' recent NT port. Currently HP and Sun have the market cornered on UG workstations.

    Also, consider high-end server usage. Linux has no support for a journaling file system. Filesystem redundancy on Linux is lacking in general, in fact (ie Linux has support for software RAID, but only a handful of hardware RAID drivers exist...on a busy server, software RAID is practically useless due to its much slower speed.)

    So all of you who are concerned with Sun destroying Linux need not be. Its not going to happen. Sun does not picture itself to be in the low-end of the market (Java was created to sell servers).

  • Man, you need to get out a little more. There's more to life than netscape and xterm. Either your post was sarcasm or your one of those people who learn something real well and never learn anything else for the rest of your life....
  • Steven didn't verify his notes... Star Office is NOT available for the MacOS. Unless you count "Java" as MacOS support, in which case it probably runs on a toaster, right? :-/

    Most of the companies I worked for were Windows-based on the desktop, but always had a few diehards running old Macs (albiet one that hadn't been upgraded by anal, hostile IT department in years..).

    Thanks to Star Office not supporting the Mac, those users will continue running Microsoft Office, as will I. I had to throw 196 MEGABYTES of RAM into my G3 to get any appreciable performance running MS Word 98, but it's the only word processor I could realistically use on the Mac (Word Perfect on the Mac isn't well supported and runs poorly under System 8.6). If Star Office even ran on PowerPC Linux I'd consider it...

  • Man, you know nothing about solaris. Whenever anybody equates the addon tools and window manger provided with the OS, they know shit about the OS. GNU and its whole package was around way before there was a Linux. It is up to you what you want to run. Some people run the gnu version, some runs the xpg4 version for for IEEE cross platform compatablity.

    Get a clue. I was referring to the stone aged tools that SUN so conviently ships with Solaris, more specifically the lack thereof. Oh unless you consider their bloated java as anything useful beyond chewing up a hell of a lot of ram.

    Go read the internal architecture of solaris and Linux, learn about single system image, doors, dynamic domain, alternate pathing, dynamic reconfig, board drain, turnstile, kthread, paging algorithm implementation, scalabilty ot 64CPU w/no kernel mutex contention and stop yapping about the window manager and how you could get "ls" in color. You are just 1 step away removerd from a 'doze user.

    Considering the fact our company has spent well over 55k for this E450, and considering the fact the fucking thing has yet to run a full week without crashing, and condidering the fact that SUN and or its service representatives cannot seem to identify and fix the problems, and considering the fact that SUN has replaced this E450 not once but 2 times, I think that is good enough indication to me that Solaris is just a stone aged piece of shit. Interesting our Linux boxen *NEVER* ever crash period running the same Oracle Software, yet the E450 has been nothing but trouble. I'll let you draw your own conclusions: HINT: If SUN Engineers cannot fix it then it doesnt seem likely anyone else can.

    top yapping about the window manager and how you could get "ls" in color. You are just 1 step away removerd from a 'doze user.

    Oh I was being nice. You've got the real scoop now. Obviously you are a Troll. What else could it be? In terms of being 1 step away from a doze user, I wager the 25+ years of HW/SW experience under my belt would show you to be more clueless than even a MAC user. Get a life. See thats the whole problem with SUN. Their own people take the same stone aged attitude you have shown here. Little wonder SUN is in deep shit up to it's shoulders. I'll place my bets with Linux. At least Linux developers do not seem to have their heads shoved into the sand or their bungholes either for that matter.

  • It was probably Rob's fault. Maybe he was trying some experimental code or something.
  • Uhh... young? Star started business in 1985, not that long after Sun. Innovative? I don't think Star is particularly innovative. In playing with Star Office, I got the impression that it was trying really hard to be Microsoft Office (down to the authentically slow assedness). Not much innovation there.

    I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude towards this. Sun may be trying to position itself as a thin-client market leader. I think personally think this is pretty stupid. Many people have written off the thin-client concept in this age of fast, powerful, $500 desktop systems. Why bother struggling with a client-server architecture when having the aps on the client side is about as cheap, and can be as easy to administer?

    Will it suck if StarOffice is removed from the Linux scene? A bit. A lot of people had problems with its bloatedness. I don't think we're guaranteed that Sun will axe it, though. We'll have to wait and see what Sun will do, before calling them bastards.

    While we wait, perhaps we can just marvel at the fact that now, we're not faced with wondering if we'll have an office suite for Linux, but which of the office suites that are available (or are soon-to-be-available) we'll use (for those of us that need an office suite. Me, I'm a writer, and I'm happy to have WordPerfect).

  • Way back, when Sun-Netscape-AOL was the hot news item, didn't someone here mention that StarOffice or Applixware would be the next logical software that they would aquire.

    Just think, with the backing of Sun, more Unix on the desktop! It's a good thing, software choices are better in a Unix shop.

    Microsoftland: Q. "Which email and productivity packages do we use?" A. "You'll only come close to the capability that you paid for if you also buy this, and This and THIS. And then pay for the upgrade for this, and that. Remember: Everyone is using this stuff--it must be good."

    Unixland: Q. "What email and productivity packages do we use?" A. "Use any one you like, but one is already included. If you don't like the way something works than change it. Since most I/O is standardized (everything is a file) you can change the behavior and output to suit your needs. The computer comes with all the tools you need to set up anything you want. Go forth and be happy!"

    And once you have a Unix shop it doesn't matter as much which Unix like OS you use.

  • I think this is great, the more competition in the office suit market the better! I've been chained to MS office waaaay to long, you know how corporations are.

    Star Office is a bit slow (seems faster on Win32 to me), it's innovative enough to grab some attention and hopefully marketshare.
  • Remember this?,3422, 2303066,00.html
  • The Register reported this on 07/26/99 but nobody listened. Then again, nobody ever listenes to the register :) I love it when they are right.
  • Well, I didn't think it was *that* bad.
    Yeah, it was out of commision fo an hour or so, but wineHQ has been MIA since yesterday.

  • FWIW, Sun is standardized on Applix internally. I wonder if that's going to change.
  • by To Mega ( 13102 ) on Friday August 20, 1999 @07:01PM (#1734116)
    Look at what happened to Lighthouse Design software, the makers of a quality suite of applications for NEXTSTEP. Bought by Sun and quickly collapsed into JavaSoft, never to be heard from again. If Lighthouse's software was available for Mac OS X Server - woah! That would just kick.

    Although a(nother) powerful company behind a popular Linux application definitely swings more momentum towards it, Sun's public persona seems to be platform specific - the Java platform, that is. Is there any (end user) software coming from inside Sun that isn't Java? Is there any that runs on multiple platforms like StarOffice does (other than the Java environment itself)?

    Unfortunately, you know that old story - big company buys small company with the talent for getting quality things done quick. Getting absorbed into a gigantic infrastructure seems to take a toll on results.

    So - I hope that Sun keeps Star separate, I hope that Sun doesn't trash everything that isn't Java, and I hope that quality software results.

  • No, that was a rumour then. Slashdot did, in fact, report it []. This is far more concrete.
  • Forget KOffice for now, AbiSource needs help with getting AbiWord working. I have used the BeOS and Windows versions, it is going to be very good.
  • That's because one, The register doesn't have a slashbox, and you know people don't pay attention to anything that doesn't even have a slashbox ;)

    Second, their domane name is awful, beening a plant name like that it's impossible to find on google or google [] or infoseek [], (that's exactly what happen to me. I remembered that it has a part, so I try this [] This is an example why a witty domain name can outpopular other good site. cy

  • Hey all,

    Could someone please tell me quite what the problem is here ? As far as I can tell, Star Division is a smaller company that Sun... therefore being taken over is bad ? I like Star Office as it does everything that I require. Now that it has been taken on by a bigger company I'm sure that they arn't going to change it that much. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that they'll make it better because they can have more programmers working on it in exactly the same amount of time...
  • This is way offtopic, but since it's already been moderated down, I see no reason not to respond.

    You're referring to Costa Mesa in Southern California's Orange County, right?

    Unfortunately, I fear that without illegal aliens, there would be nobody to empty your trash, wait on you in fast food restaurants or fix your car. (Most car repair shops I've seen are run by a english-speaking front man who hires spanish speakers to do the actual work).

    Illegal aliens may not speak my language, but they're incredibly hard workers and deserve a chance at success. I support them in their courageous efforts to make a life in a new, bewildering country.


  • ...have you ever used StarOffice?
  • Not to get into immature semantics... however, I can take out Office 2000 in about 5 seconds with a macro via email. Star Office is much slower but I won't get into personal attacks as my contributions to Open Source speak for themselves.


  • This is good as long as Sun doesn't kill the product. They have already done this once.

    Sun bought LightHouse Design-- the makes of an incredible suite of office productivity apps for NeXTSTEP/OpenStep. These apps were amazing-- often considered to be some of the best productivity apps ever written.

    First Sun killed NEO-- so, the native Objective-C implementations died there. OK, fine, port 'em to Java!

    Which, LightHouse DID! Not everything-- but large parts of certain apps were ported and, apparently, worked fine under Java.


    Why? Who knows....

    I really hope that Sun doesn't kill this office suite too.
  • Whether Sun hopes to make StarOffice a viable desktop contender with M$ Office depends on what Sun's long-term strategy for StarDivision is. What concerns me is whether Sun will continue to keep supporting and developing the Windows and Linux versions of StarOffice in the long run.
  • Yeah, I do. I also remember Baratz taking a shot at Mozilla, suggesting it would be better under their "community source" license. That license bothers me some too.

    But, being hopeful, a Linux server is direct competition for their own servers. I don't really think they expect to take over the PC desktop. Ditching linux support for Star Office buys little and would definitely ignite a firestorm.

  • In addition to Applix, Star Office and KOffice,
    don't forget Corel Office and the promised GNOME
    office suite (the version of gnumeric that shipped
    with RH6.0 just read in an Excel spreadsheet quite
    nicely for me.)
  • I always read the Register, because I don't have time to go search for computer news and their little niblets are entertaining. But I do admit that I don't rely on them for accuracy (grin).

  • I'm not sure why you would think this sucks. I think StarOffice has good potential, but you really need to sink some recources into it to take away some of the rough edges. It takes a big company with some big $$ to do that. Sun can do that. If they can shave some of the bloat, speed it up a bit and put a little shine on it then SO could be the next killer app for *nix.

    The interesting thing to me is that Sun has never really aggresivley gone after the desktop market and this product is directly aimed for the desktop. Not to many high end e-commerce servers need to do word processing. Sun doing this just to go after the boys in Redmond....or does Sun have plans to push Solaris on the desktop (something they really have never done, even when they gave away Solaris 7 ) or just what does Sun hope to accomplish?

    I think Sun has enough sense not to kill the Linux version. The bad press from that would be nasty!
  • If the lousy bastards don't try to rewrite the whole package in Java, it would supprise me.

    Sun is the biggest bunch of impotent morons in the computer world. They've been at it for years, and they still need Linux to have a fighting chance of taking on Microsoft.

    Very sad.
  • But this is not The Register , is it ?
  • I think that Sun is scared to death of Linux.

    With all of the server application vendors pushing Linux these days, and with the rather wonderful ability of Linux to make beachheads behind the risk-adverse managers' defensive lines (much in the same way that MS/PC infrastructures grew in corporate America 10 years ago), it's easy to see where Sun would be worried about future market share.

    Sun wants to be thought of as the Computer Company for the Internet Age. Except for IBM's well heeled offerings, Linux is their only real competition for that title.

    Sun doesn't have to kill the Linux versions of StarOffice to deemphasize them. Which will have better support? Linux or Solaris?

    The Netscape Server example is cautionary. Who else is withdrawing software from the Linux market?

    This could also explain Sun's insistence on pushing only Java. If Java succeeds, Sun could then make it increasingly hard for Java on Linux.

    Maybe I'm being paranoid.
  • There's a difference between rumor and fact. I hear so many rumors every day that I could fill a dozen Slashdots with them and still have enough left over to keep Matt Drudge in business. ;-)
  • I'm down here in Monterey at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference ( and someone in one of the workshops said that Sun was going to release StarOffice as Open Source. I've looked on StarDivision's web site and Sun's, and the only info I can find is the above mentioned CNet article. I think since the deal hasn't even officially gone through yet, that this guy is blowing smoke. Has anyone heard anything similar?
  • Umm if you look at the Star Division homepage [] they've got that box in the bottom right hand corner that says StarOffice for Java.
  • Unfortunately, outside of fantasy land, Windows users have a choice of 4+ office suites backed by major vendors (MS, Corel, IBM, and now Sun). Unix has been slowly dieing on the desktop for years, and the selection is thinner. (Of course, Linux is changing this fast.) And you still have to pay for upgrades, etc.

    Maybe I'm dumb, I don't see how the Unix I/O philosophy really helps office suite users. Furthermore, it seems that the MS COM stuff is much more pervasive on Windows than any equivlent on Unix.

    (Don't take this as an anti-Unix rant - it's just that if you spend a good chunk of your day inside of a commercial office suite, right now you're much better off in Windows or MacOS than unix. What I would like to see is the KDE and Gnome efforts at Office apps come to open source fruition.)

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: #44 Zebras are colored with dark stripes on a light background.