StarOffice is the commercial version of Sun's freely distributed OpenOffice suite, and comprises word processing, spreadsheet, and other workplace oriented programs.
Nearly 2 years after Google and Sun Microsystems announced a software distribution partnership of sorts, Google has reportedly quietly started distributing Sun's StarOffice suite for free -- as part of it's Google Pack download.
StarOffice is but the commercial version of Sun's freely distributed OpenOffice suite, and comprises word processing, spreadsheet, and other workplace-oriented programs.
While StarOffice costs nearly $70 to download, Google is distributing it free-of-charge. However, Google's version is devoid of technical support from Sun unlike the downloadable StarOffice version.
Google Pack is Google's attempt at having a greater say in the digital lives of users -- whether they are online or offline. The pack already includes Mozilla's Firefox Web browser and RealNetworks' Real Player.
Although the financial terms of the Google-Sun agreement have not been disclosed, top sources at Sun said that the company has added Internet search capabilities to all of it's StarOffice products. Which means that users will be able to say -- highlight terms in word processing documents, and then search for those terms online -- via Google of course.
All said, the big-ticket deal is being seen as a paradigm shift -- one that will bring together office productivity, networking, and search in one seamless offering. However, industry watchers cannot be blamed for looking at it as yet another thorn in Microsoft's side...