Star Office Update

Sun Microsystems plans to release an update to its StarOffice suite of business productivity software that will offer greater compatibility with Microsoft Office.

StarOffice 8 will include word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database, and drawing software. The software will let users export and import Microsoft Office files from programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, while preserving macros and password-protected files.

Sun’s introduction of StarOffice 8 comes on the heels of Microsoft’s preview of the next version of Microsoft Office earlier this month

Sun’s timing could allow the company to snag users impatient with the long release schedule for Microsoft’s product. Microsoft’s next version of Office is not expected until the second half of 2006, and Microsoft has not introduced a new version of Office since 2003.

The software is also a lot cheaper than Microsoft’s complex pricing scheme for various flavors of its office suite.

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