Star-Office Open Source Code Off to Rocky Start

Just 45 minutes after going online, the servers used to host the long-awaited open-source code Web site,, were overloaded by download requests, causing a crash. The number of hits to the site wasn't disclosed, but analysts and officials said the deluge of downloads demonstrates the potential popularity of the StarOffice software and open-source code development in general.

"If there's this much interest, then StarOffice has probably struck a chord with developers," said Tracy Corbo, an analyst at Hurwitz Group. "This won't blow Microsoft Office off the desktop, but there is room for alternative [productivity suites] in some places."

Sun decided to release StarOffice's source code under the GNU General Public License in July, less than a year after its August 1999 acquisition of Germany-based StarDivision for $US73.5 million. Beginning with Version 6.0 of the suite, Sun said, StarOffice will be built using the sources, application programming interfaces, file formats and reference implementation available on

In July, Sun also signed start-up CollabNet to build and host as an open-source development site for StarOffice. The site is supposed to offer programmers services such as source versioning, source browsing and maintenance of developer contact lists. Developers who register on the Web site can get free access to the StarOffice source code.

Sun is trying to position StarOffice, which runs on Windows, Linux, OS/2 and Solaris operating systems, as a viable rival to Microsoft Office 2000. "It's clear what Sun's objectives are," Corbo said. "The idea is to push an alternative desktop environment to Microsoft Office." The open-source release will enable developers to make modifications to the software, she added.

Sun officials couldn't be reached for comment on the start-up problems with the open-source Web site. A CollabNet spokeswoman said technicians at that company worked nonstop to restore the site. "They're all actually kind of psyched about [the crash] because that shows there's a lot of interest" in the StarOffice code, she added.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Deals on PC World

Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


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

Anthony Grifoni


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

Steph Mundell


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


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


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.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?