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Users Swarm to StarOffice 6 Beta [Free Microsoft Alternative from powerhouse company Sun]
eWEEK ^ | Peter Galli

Posted on 12/08/2001 5:32:04 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn

Edited on 04/13/2004 2:58:56 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

The brouhaha surrounding Microsoft Corp.'s new volume licensing plans has apparently been good news for companies like Sun Microsystems Inc., which last week announced the beta release of its free StarOffice 6 office productivity suite.

Iyer Venkatesan, the product line manager for StarOffice, told eWEEK in an interview Tuesday that there had been more than 200,000 downloads of the software from Sun's Web site over the past week. Some two-thirds of those downloading the software had indicated on the download page that they were Windows users, he said.


(Excerpt) Read more at eweek.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events
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I just downloaded this software and I couldn't believe it. IT's free. it's 100% compatable with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint, and Micrsoft Excel and has all of the features. It runs on Windows 95, Windows98, Windows2000 and Windows XP.
1 posted on 12/08/2001 5:32:04 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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To: Texas_Longhorn
You can get it here:

http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/6.0beta/index.html
2 posted on 12/08/2001 5:33:04 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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To: Texas_Longhorn
Thanks, I've been waiting for the new release. 5.2 was usable, if 6.0 lives up to hype, I will recommend it in all small office environments.
3 posted on 12/08/2001 5:40:36 PM PST by FastCoyote
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To: Texas_Longhorn
Thanks for the heads up. I wish they'd made it available on MacOS X, which I have been standardizing on for my home sy stem; I'd love to take a look.

I use Linux at work, so I will be giving it a try. It needs Outlook-style email, though - but fortunately there are apparently other Linux programs now that can read Outlook files. That might be well worth exploring due to the Outlook virus threat alone. (I know that at my company, our users constantly click on virus e-mails despite timely alerts not to).

D

4 posted on 12/08/2001 5:42:35 PM PST by daviddennis
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To: FastCoyote
They got rid of the whole "StarOffice Desktop" thing and made 6.0 behave, look and feel much more like the M$ product.
5 posted on 12/08/2001 5:42:49 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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To: Texas_Longhorn
I still use WordPerfect to write with. Unfortunately the program was taken over and maltreated before Corel acquired it, and it's never really recovered momentum. But WordPerfect 8 SP7 works very well if you do a lot of writing. I like the feature that lets you "view codes," which Microsoft has avoided. In fact, I don't know how you can really tweak a document properly without that feature.

I keep MS Office on all my computers so I can read Office files, but I don't actually use it.

I seriously doubt that MS Office files will be compatible with StarOffice unless they keep updating their converters, because it's not really compatible with MS Office unless you keep installing new filters.

It's hard to beat a freebie, so if StarOffice gets popular no doubt I'll keep that on my computers too.

6 posted on 12/08/2001 5:46:01 PM PST by Cicero
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To: FastCoyote
I'm running 5.2 on my Linux box, and it doesn't seem to understand .doc extensions. But AbiWord does, so i can cut and paste when i need. Other than that it does everything I need to do. All that i miss is the smooth (anti-aliased?) fonts of Microsoft. Not ready to ditch Windows yet, but it keeps getting better. Im not starting a Linux vs. Windows deathmatch, just reporting my experience with StarOffice.
7 posted on 12/08/2001 5:47:32 PM PST by zoso82t
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To: Bush2000
Well, it wouldn't be right to have this conversation without the participation of a paid Microsoft shill.

Come tell us how much better it is to pay anually for functionality that you can get for free, O Great Microsoft BootLicker.

Knitebane

8 posted on 12/08/2001 5:47:55 PM PST by Knitebane
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
I take it you have not checked out the newer version.
10 posted on 12/08/2001 5:51:10 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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To: FastCoyote
I read about the troubles with some macros, but for just opening up Word docs, I haven't seen a bad conversion yet. Granted, most the documents are memos or documentation docs, but how much does the average office need? In my day-to-day use, I haven't come across anything that I'm missing yet.
11 posted on 12/08/2001 5:53:35 PM PST by bobwoodard
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
Sorry dude(tte) it's awesome.
13 posted on 12/08/2001 6:01:47 PM PST by notfondajane
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To: innocentbystander
It's true.
I'm still running Windows 98. Is you opinion of Windows XP high? I can get a copy for $5 because my university has a deal with MS. I have heard sories of "A crash a minute" with Windows XP running Office XP.
14 posted on 12/08/2001 6:02:43 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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To: Texas_Longhorn
I just downloaded StarOffice on my Win 98 machine. So far so good! :)
15 posted on 12/08/2001 6:05:22 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Texas_Longhorn
Beware WordPerfect 6.1 users (some of us stay with the GOLD standard).

WordPerfect 6.1 is INCOMPATIBLE with Windows XP.

16 posted on 12/08/2001 6:06:57 PM PST by PokeyJoe
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
Features! Yes! We must have more features! And Wizards, too! We won't stop till an email client hits 10 megs! Oops, they already did that. Okay, but still, I love bloatware too.
18 posted on 12/08/2001 6:08:06 PM PST by wienerdog.com
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To: innocentbystander
Considering I'm a computer engineer, I think I am a good judge on wether or not I should "upgrade" to a new product.
19 posted on 12/08/2001 6:10:51 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: Texas_Longhorn
I hope StarOffice does well. I would like to point out that the beta was published October 5, 2001, this eWeek article was dated October 10, 2001, and that this beta will automatically disable itself on March 31, 2002. So about 2 of the 6 months of the shelf life of the download is gone already. It is a smallish download, however.

Also, if you are coming from StarOffice 5.2, don't uninstall it while trying the 6.0 beta, or as explained in the README you will loose your custom settings when you go to the final 6.0 bits.

For more reviews of StarOffice 6.0 beta, search on Google.com for "staroffice 6.0 beta".

21 posted on 12/08/2001 6:12:15 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
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To: Texas_Longhorn
Go with 2000 Pro.
22 posted on 12/08/2001 6:13:50 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob
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To: innocentbystander; Texas_Longhorn
Enough already of this "does too; does not" debate.

I'm sure I could find a Sun marketing person who could compose a list of features, and check off that StarOffice has every feature in the MicroSoft products.

And I'm sure that I could find a MicroSoft expert who could point out details supported in their products not available in the StarOffice product.

And there's no way to maintain perfect compatibility with MicroSoft products - they are too overloaded with creaping features and constant change. Not even MicroSoft maintains perfect compatibility from version to version.

I don't know about this StarOffice version yet, but in any other non-MicroSoft word processor I've tried that reads Word *.doc format files, they're good, but not perfect -- mess up the formatting enough and only Word will display it exactly as intended.

23 posted on 12/08/2001 6:21:50 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: zoso82t
All that i miss is the smooth (anti-aliased?) fonts of Microsoft.

My thoughts exactly. The 5.2 version is perfectly adequate for home use, and I've been able to use it with complete interchangability with MS Word at the office, but it's still not quite ready displace Windows on the desktop, in my humble opinion. It's getting a lot closer, though.

25 posted on 12/08/2001 6:24:04 PM PST by absalom01
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To: Texas_Longhorn
I recommend Staroffice to people running small businesses. It's a good way to cut software costs.
26 posted on 12/08/2001 6:27:38 PM PST by LuvItOrLeaveIt
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To: innocentbystander
So wonder you seem so sensitive to StarOffice
27 posted on 12/08/2001 6:28:07 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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To: zoso82t
You need the patch . It greatly improves the filters, stability and speed of StarOffice 5.2 for Linux. Or you can go get the StarOffice 6 Beta. It's very stable, quite a bit faster and doesn't use that icky desktop. By default it opens the word processor and you can open the other modules from there.

And it's still free.

Knitebane

28 posted on 12/08/2001 6:33:56 PM PST by Knitebane
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To: Texas_Longhorn
What are the differences between StarOffice and Microsoft Office?
29 posted on 12/08/2001 6:34:58 PM PST by Paleo Conservative
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To: Texas_Longhorn
Does StarOffice have anything like Outlook, which manages contacts, email, calendar, and to-do all in one place? And is there a Palm conduit to StarOffice?

Without those, I couldn't possibly switch.

30 posted on 12/08/2001 6:36:36 PM PST by freedomcrusader
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To: freedomcrusader
Yes,yes,yes,yes, and yes
31 posted on 12/08/2001 6:43:01 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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To: Texas_Longhorn
So does StarOffice come with the Palm conduit, or is that avilable from somewhere/someone else?
32 posted on 12/08/2001 6:48:28 PM PST by freedomcrusader
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To: Cicero
I use Wordperfect too. Alt-F3 is great.
33 posted on 12/08/2001 6:51:11 PM PST by wattsmag2
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To: Paleo Conservative
The Differences between Star Office and Microsoft Office? You don't have a freakin highway-to-hell virus chute running through the middle of Star Office. Oh, and it's free.
34 posted on 12/08/2001 6:51:28 PM PST by FastCoyote
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To: freedomcrusader; Texas_Longhorn
I'm skeptical that Texas_Longhorn is right, freedomcrusader.

I use neither Outlook (with Exchange and all that), nor do I use StarOffice. But everything I've seen in the last hour poking around says that StarOffice is missing Outlook and Exchange integration. See for example a this Slashdot thread on StarOffice 6.0 beta.

35 posted on 12/08/2001 6:51:32 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
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To: innocentbystander
But what percentage of the features of those progrsms do most people use?

When I tried an older version of StarOffice, it looked and felt so much like Microsoft Office it was eerie.

In fact, that's what I hated about it - I wanted something a little more original.

D

(For the record, I write documents in raw HTML on a Linux or MacOS X system and use the web browser to print them out. Why? I've lost too much data with Microsoft Office products, and I haven't lost a single byte in emacs with at least 1000x more text involved.).

36 posted on 12/08/2001 6:54:23 PM PST by daviddennis
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To: ThePythonicCow
Sorry, I was talking about 5.2 It has the full integration.
37 posted on 12/08/2001 6:55:51 PM PST by Texas_Longhorn
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To: Texas_Longhorn
My choice/what I use ...
Fast. Compatible. Free.

Three words that define today's user requirements for an office suite. 602Pro PC SUITE 2001, the new version of the free alternative to Microsoft® Office, has it all!

The suite is composed of four full-featured applications: a word processor, spreadsheet, graphics editor and digital photo organizer

602Text is a powerful word processor compatible with Microsoft® Word (.DOC 9x/2000/XP) and many other document file types.

602Tab is a Microsoft® Excel (.XLS 9x/2000/XP) compatible spreadsheet with over 150 available functions.

http://www.software602.com/products/pcs/




38 posted on 12/08/2001 6:56:41 PM PST by _Jim
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To: innocentbystander; Texas_Longhorn
I loathe Windows with a passion due to extremely bad early experiences with it, but I cheerfully admit XP is loads better than crash-a-minute 98. If you insist on using Windows (instead of MacOS or Linux), you should upgrade to either 2000 or XP. 2000 gives you freedom from that tiresome product activation, while XP gives you limited game compatibility and some mostly useless extra features wrapped up in a prettier but skin deep interface.

D

39 posted on 12/08/2001 6:58:08 PM PST by daviddennis
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To: absalom01
Try MacOS X. It has the most stunning anti-aliased fonts in all computing.

D

40 posted on 12/08/2001 6:59:55 PM PST by daviddennis
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To: Texas_Longhorn
Ah so - ok - makes sense.
41 posted on 12/08/2001 7:00:23 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
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To: Texas_Longhorn
Additionally there is the PC Suite from Software602 that is similarly compatible with many of ms's document formats. It is free to register and for about $30 you can get add ons like text to speech, mail merge with database and a whole lot more. From a company called Poster Software you can get 4 applications for creating posters in dimensions of numbers of pages by number of pages, desktop publishing items, and presentations all for about $50.
42 posted on 12/08/2001 7:01:39 PM PST by RWG
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To: Texas_Longhorn; innocentbystander; Bush2000
How amusing.

Microsoft gives away a free browser, and it's "unfair competition" with Netscape (who also gives away a free browser).

Sun gives away for free an Office application suite that is directely and unabashedly targetted at MS Office (a bread and butter product that supplies beaucoup employees with roofs over their heads) -- and according to the same folks who damned MS for giving away a browser, Sun's stunt is the best thing since sliced wrists.

Do we have a bit of a hypocrisy problem here? Or is disdain for dual standards just so 2000?

43 posted on 12/08/2001 7:08:55 PM PST by Don Joe
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To: freedomcrusader
StarOffice 5.2 had an email client. It was okay. It's been dropped for 6.0.

What is the fascination of having your email integrated with your spreadsheet?

There are lots of other mail clients, calendaring clients and contact managers out there. I own a power drill, but I don't expect it to drive nails. I use the right tool for the job.

Under Linux, I have replaced MS Office, IE, Visio, FrontPage and OutLook with Kmail, Kaddressbook, Korganizer, Koffice, StarOffice, AbiWord, KPilot, Quanta, Kate, Konqueror and Knode. All of my files are saved as XML, HTML or DB compatible files. Anyone can read my files. I don't worry about worms and viruses. I can open files from anyone, at least today. When Microsoft changes their file format, I usually have a week or so before Koffice has a patch out.

As a networking engineer, Kivio MP is fantastic. It let's me flowchart networks and processes like Visio, but with the stencil editor, I can make my own stencils when needed...and the people that build Kivio will even buy them from me.

Kmail integrates LDAP, PGP encryption and email into one solid, fuctional client. Korganizer, being a specialized calendaring tool, beats OutBreak's functionality.

Moving away from Microsoft requires thinking outside of the Microsoft provided box. Just because Microsoft makes LookOut work a certain way, doesn't mean that's the only way to do something.

Knitebane

44 posted on 12/08/2001 7:09:11 PM PST by Knitebane
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To: RWG
The enhancements:

45 posted on 12/08/2001 7:09:51 PM PST by _Jim
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To: daviddennis
Nice if you know emacs, vi, ed, vim, jed, joe or some such. But like driving a stick shift, it's out of reach for most.
46 posted on 12/08/2001 7:11:49 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
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To: Don Joe
Microsoft's browser isn't free. No source code is available.

With Sun I have the choice, either StarOffice 6 or OpenOffice 6. Basically the same product, except for proprietary code from other companies that is included in StarOffice is not in OpenOffice.

Anyone can look at the code for OpenOffice, and therefore I know for the most part what is in StarOffice. But not Office XP or IE.

And why not? It's not like they are making any money on IE, it's no cost, right? So why not let everyone see what's in it?

What are they hiding?

Knitebane

47 posted on 12/08/2001 7:16:40 PM PST by Knitebane
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To: Don Joe
No hypocrisy. It's the law. If you have a monopoly (which can be most, doesn't have to be all) and then try to leverage that monopoly to drive competitors in related businesses out of business, to extend your monopoly, that's illegal.

I liken it to what it would be like if Shaq were his current size and speed, but 12 years old attending sixth grade. If I were the basketball coach for that grade, I would be telling the class runt to go all out, play 100%, and be delighted if he did. But if Shaq went all out, I'd have the cops arrest him for manslaughter.

The rules for the big kid on the block are just plain different. It's not hypocrisy. It's the Sherman Anti-Trust law.

48 posted on 12/08/2001 7:16:58 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
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To: Texas_Longhorn
This POS made my Win2kPro crash. I had to manually uninstall it and clean out the registry. I'll stick to MS Office.
49 posted on 12/08/2001 7:20:27 PM PST by AStack75
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To: Texas_Longhorn
I've had StarOffice for 2 years now. It's a hog, for sure, but no worse than MicroSlop's Office Nightmare. And it's got the same "look and feel" for folks who are afraid of new things.

Frankly, I've got Office Nightmare too, and I use the two interchangably. But if Nightmare went away tomorrow, it wouldn't bother me.

50 posted on 12/08/2001 7:22:58 PM PST by IronJack
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