Sun will offer back-line support for OpenOffice

Sun will offer back-line support for OpenOffice.org.

Sun Microsystems on Monday plans to announce that it will provide support for the OpenOffice.org productivity software suite, citing a wave of momentum behind the open-source project.

The support, which starts at $US20 per user per year, will be offered to companies that distribute OpenOffice.org, not directly to end-users, according to senior director of marketing for StarOffice/OpenOffice.org and Network.com, Mark Herring. "For a lot of distributors, they wanted to distribute OpenOffice.org and had no option for back-line support," he said.

OpenOffice.org and StarOffice, Sun's accompanying commercial product, are compatible with Microsoft Office and identical in terms of capabilities, which include word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. But until now, Sun only supported StarOffice.

Another difference will remain -- Sun does not plan to provide indemnification against lawsuits for OpenOffice.org, as it does for StarOffice, Herring said.

Sun's move comes as OpenOffice.org is being downloaded 1 million times per week, with total downloads to date standing at about 110 million, Herring said.

Out of that number, Sun estimates that "tens of millions" of people are actively using the software, according to Herring. The most recent version is 2.3. Version 2.4 is expected in March and will contain significant new features, according to the [openoffice.org] qebsite.

"Microsoft Office is still the dominant tool out there -- only a fool would deny that," he said. "But [OpenOffice.org] has had a huge amount of momentum."

Sun believes the average OpenOffice.org user skews younger on average, and that download activity in Europe and the US has been greater than in Asian countries, he added.

Developers can create extensions to the core OpenOffice.org suite. Sun has made a new one for shaving down the size of presentation files, Herring said. The wizard-like tool goes through a file and asks users whether they want to keep or compress the various elements, he said.

Sun plans to provide support for any extensions it creates, according to Herring. As for ones made by third parties, "we would have to work with them on that code on a case-by-case basis," he said.

Sun is also releasing StarOffice 8 Server. Herring described it as a conversion engine that changes 40 document types into PDF files. The server, which costs $11,000, is aimed at enterprises with large stores of legacy documents that aren't archived with an open standard, according to Herring.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?