Sun and Apple not working on StarOffice for Mac

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. have no concrete plans to codevelop a version of Sun's StarOffice productivity suite for the Mac OS X operating system, two open-source developers and a Sun official said Monday.

StarOffice is currently available for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, Sun's Solaris and the Linux operating system. Sun and Apple have talked about creating a version for the Mac OS X, but there are no concrete plans to do so, said Tony Siress, Sun's senior director of desktop marketing.

StarOffice, a commercial software product, is based on the open-source OpenOffice productivity suite developed by the OpenOffice.org group of volunteer developers. Sun funds the maintenance and operation of the OpenOffice.org Web site, but developers work for free on the project.

An alpha version of OpenOffice for the Mac OS X already exists, work which has been spearheaded by developers Ed Peterlin and Dan Williams.

Sun held a conference call with the two OpenOffice developers on Monday to clarify that Sun and Apple aren't working on their own project to create a version of OpenOffice for Mac OS X by year end and then follow that release with a commercial version of StarOffice in 2003, as was reported in the press recently.

"It had us a little concerned," Williams said. "The reports had the effect of making us think Sun was developing this secret project with Apple ..., and, of course, that was news to us."

Sun has been in ongoing talks with Apple to see "what it would take" to make a version of StarOffice that had the look and feel of an Apple application, Siress said. These talks, however, are really little more than the same theoretical discussions that have been going on over the last couple of years, he said.

Peterlin and Williams said it would take one to three years from now for them to make an "Apple ready" version of OpenOffice on their own. The developers want to add all of the bells and whistles typical of Apple applications and tie the software into Apple's Aqua user interface.

"My goal is to have the best Mac OS X office suite available," said Peterlin. "We need to get the engineering work done before we put the wheels and chrome on it. Eventually, it will have the Aqua look and feel that is standard to a Mac user."

With more developer help and contributions of resources from Sun and Apple, a polished version of OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X could be completed in a year or less, Peterlin said.

But Siress said that Sun and Apple aren't planning to devote engineering resources to the project right now.

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.

Ashlee Vance

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?