OpenDoc Goes Commercial With StarOffice Release

The OpenDocument format that sparked a high-profile dispute between Microsoft and the state of Massachusetts will make its debut in a commercial office suite this week, as part of Sun Microsystems’ StarOffice 8 release.
The OpenDocument format is getting its first commercial office suite Tuesday via Sun Microsystems’ unveiling of its StarOffice 8 suite.

StarOffice 8, which is based on open source software, consists of StarOffice Writer, Impress, Calc, Base and Draw. It is Sun’s first new release for the software suite in more than 18 months. StarOffice8 runs on Microsoft Windows as well as on Sun’s Solaris and open source Linux operating systems.

“StarOffice 8 software also provides features that look more familiar to Microsoft Office users,” Sun's announcement stated. “StarOffice 8 software further improves import and export of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, even password-protected MS Word and MS Excel files and presentations with complex animations, autoshapes and slide transitions.”

The software carries a suggested list price of $99.

The StarOffice announcement comes a week after the state government of Massachusetts issued a policy embracing the OpenDocument format to the exclusion of Microsoft’s office suite products. Some Massachusetts legislators are protesting the policy, however, and they are seeking further public comment on the policy.