Sun Microsystems Star Office 8.0
- The price, customer support, comprehensive feature set
- Doesn't allow you to merge documents as e-mails, Base is too complex for the casual user
The small fee that appears to make StarOffice less desirable brings with it Web-based and helpdesk support, and this is one thing that could appeal to OpenOffice users. Both versions provide superb, very stable office suites that offer a challenge to Microsoft Office. In this case low-cost definitely doesn't mean sub-standard.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
It's not hard to see the appeal of Star Office 8.0. It's loads cheaper than Microsoft's Office 2007, and while OpenOffice 2.2 is free, Star Office has a comprehensive feature set and includes customer support.
StarOffice 8.0, available by download, includes a few licensed elements and costs $69.95, although it shares the same code base as OpenOffice 2.2. At regular intervals, StarOffice developer Sun takes a snapshot of the open-source development taking place continuously on OpenOffice and releases the most stable version with additional support.
The core applications of Star Office 8.0 are just as you would expect, comprising a word processor, spreadsheet, database, drawing application and a presentation package. Writer, the Star Office 8.0 word processor, isn't as snazzy as Microsoft Word 2007, but includes a few elements Microsoft has only just caught up with - such as the ability to save to PDF.
More important to most users will be the fact that compatibility and performance have been greatly improved, with Star Office Writer capable of opening multiple file formats. StarOffice Writer has a better spellchecker and thesaurus than OpenOffice, enjoying more templates and clip art, as well as support for Asian language formats. One thing not included is the ability to merge documents as e-mails (which OpenOffice can do for you), but there is support for macros in StarOffice.
Beyond the basics
The spreadsheet application, Calc, compares well to Excel, providing a range of functions and formulae that'll enable you to perform calculations quickly. Users can create multiple worksheets and analyse data using a DataPilot (the equivalent of Excel's Pivot Tables). The only area in which Calc suffers is in the range of charts and graphs that can be created, but these are more than sufficient for most users.
Impress is a perfectly adequate presentation package. If this is important to you, however, the StarOffice version has more templates than OpenOffice 2.2. These are still inferior to those included with PowerPoint, but if you're willing to put in a little extra work then you can still create decent presentation.
More importantly, Star Office 8.0 Impress provides you with plenty of help in terms of structuring your ideas. It can export presentations as Flash files, too.
The database tool, Base, is a complex relational database, which will be fairly forbidding to the casual user but offers sophisticated tools for creating forms and reports that can work with several database engines. The drawing component, Draw, is a charting component (akin to Visio).
Spot the difference
In terms of features, there's little difference between the two applications, but StarOffice includes the Sun Java Runtime Environment. Java is required for both suites, although OpenOffice will run with free Java software and the Sun implementation isn't essential. More important will be support, which is where StarOffice may have the edge.
You can trial Star Office 8.0 for 90 days here.
Join the newsletter!
Featuring a high capacity ink tank system, that completely removes the need for cartridges - it comes with up to 2 years of ink in the box
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 2 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 3 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
- 4 Zolo Liberty+ review: The true wireless earbuds you've been waiting for
- 5 Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: The path of least resistance makes for an easy upgrade
Latest News Articles
- Sonos say Aussie Alexa support for One smart speaker won't arrive until Autumn 2018
- Transport for NSW boosts digital experience with Amazon Alexa
- Irdeto Acquires Denuvo
- Amazon Alexa and Echo set for Febuary launch
- Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Hands On: Pitting the Apple HomePod against the Sonos One
- Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: Comparing The Google Home’s Assistant To Amazon Echo’s Alexa
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- TPClient Systems TechnicianQLD
- CCProject Manager - Finance TransformationNSW
- FTService Asset & Configuration ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Cost ModellerOther
- FTUnified Endpoint Management Systems AnalystOther
- CCAPI Application EngineerVIC
- FTTechnical Quality LeadVIC
- FTCyber Security AnalystOther
- FTNetwork ConsultantQLD
- TPSQL SSAS BI DeveloperQLD
- FTForeperson / Field Supervisor - ConstructionVIC
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperWA
- FTIT Project ManagerOther
- FTService Delivery Manager x 2Other
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTAccount Security Manager - Permanent - Sydney RegionNSW
- FTPrincipal Solutions Architect - Big Data and AnalyticsOther
- CCBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTNetezza Developer - Brisbane locationVIC
- CCHadoop DeveloperACT
- FTPeoplesoft HCM Application DeveloperACT
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCSAP DevelopersQLD
- FTITSM Configuration ManagerOther
- FTGun Java Developers wantedVIC