Sun Releases StarOffice for x86

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Sun Microsystems has introduced a version of StarOffice 7 for the x86 variant of its Solaris operating system, a preface to offering a complete desktop software system built around the Unix-based OS.

Sun also announced that United India Insurance has selected StarOffice over Microsoft Office. The company, one of the largest insurance sellers in India, plans to buy 10,000 seats of StarOffice, with installation planned to occur in the first quarter of this year, Sun says in a statement.

Product Specs

StarOffice 7 for Solaris x86 is priced at $79.95 and is available online. Pricing is the same as for other StarOffice versions, which already includes StarOffice for Solaris for SPARC platforms as well as for Windows and Linux.

The productivity suite includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, graphics application and database. It can import and export Microsoft Office documents, as well as XML files. The applications also support interaction with Palm and Pocket PC device applications.

The x86 version of Solaris runs on computers with processors that support the x86 instruction set, such as those manufactured by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. Sun's main Solaris version is for multiprocessing and 64-bit computing using UltraSPARC processor-based systems.

Sun's Plans

Although Sun has traditionally aimed both of the Solaris operating systems toward use in server computers, it now also plans to promote desktop use of the software. The vendor intends to offer a version of the Java Desktop System based on the x86 and Sparc versions of Solaris by the end of the year.

Sun last year introduced its Java Desktop System based on Linux to offer computer users an alternative to Microsoft's dominant Windows and Office offerings. The Java Desktop System includes StarOffice as well as a host of other software, such as a Web browser, media player, and instant messaging client.

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