Sun Posts OpenOffice for Free Download
A free version of Sun's StarOffice business productivity suite is now
available for download from
OpenOffice.org 1.0 provides a selection of software nearly identical to
Microsoft Office's. Both suites feature word processor, spreadsheet, and
presentation programs, said OpenOffice.org representatives Wednesday.
OpenOffice.org 1.0 is a
The source code from the previous release, StarOffice 5.2, supplied the
code base for OpenOffice.org 1.0 and StarOffice 6.0, but both products are
advances over that version. The StarOffice 5.2 software was distributed as a
StarOffice 6.0, announced in March and scheduled for release later in May, comes with additional features such as a database and special fonts. Sun also provides training for StarOffice, which will be priced at under $100, according to an earlier Sun announcement.
E-mail and calendar functions that users of StarOffice 5.2 disliked have been removed from OpenOffice.org 1.0, said Zaheda Bhorat, a community manager for OpenOffice.org and a marketing manager for Sun. Future releases will restore those functions when the community agrees on the best way to do so, she said.
The product also contains support for XML, so users will be able to save files to personal digital assistants and other mobile devices. Plug-ins to support that type of file transfer are still being completed, said Sam Hiser, co-leader of the marketing project at OpenOffice.org and chief information officer of ReelAmerica.
Users running Linux, Windows, Solaris, and other Unix flavors will be able to run OpenOffice.org 1.0. A port for Macintosh users is in the works, said Bhorat. The software was set up to work with several different file formats, too, so users can keep and use Microsoft Word and Excel files with in the new version. Macros and other specially created programs for the Microsoft products, however, will not work with OpenOffice.org 1.0, Hiser said.
Schools, public-sector organizations, and companies in developing countries are among the targets of OpenOffice.org 1.0, Hiser said.
"(The software) is a natural companion to Linux," and organizations can significantly cut their technology budgets by installing free products like OpenOffice.org 1.0 on their networks, he said.
The software is currently available only in English, according to the OpenOffice.org Web site, but versions in other languages will be released over the next few days, Bhorat said. OpenOffice.org 1.0 will consume 49MB of storage space on a Windows system, 67MB on a Linux machine, and 69MB under Solaris, according to data on the Web site.
The development effort for OpenOffice.org included more than 10,000 developers, marketers, and end users worldwide. Developers used CollabNet's SourceCast application for distributed software development teams to write and debug code.