Firstly, StarOffice is Suns product offering based around the OpenOffice.org project.
It is a superset of OOo with the extra elements being some help files and
minor additions that could not be open sourced with the rest of OOo due
to licensing issues. Thus, you can take any comments regarding stability,
interoperability and general ease of use to apply to both equally.
The main points I would make about it are:
1. It's slow to start up but runs fine once it's up (on Windows the quick launch
2. It doesn't generally crash, probably about as stable as Office 2k.
3. The interoperability is achieved in the face of passive aggression (at
best) from Microsoft. It will never be perfect but it's good. I've heard
of OOo opening documents which Office 2000 chokes on. However, it's not
a good idea to save your document in Word or Powerpoint format and expect
that Office2K users will get the same formatting that you see.
4. For some reason, the excel support is vastly better (simpler, better
documented?) so you can do the above with spreadsheets
5. You can create PDFs directly from OOo documents. This is a single step
procedure and works really well. This is how I send out invoices, letters
etc. To get the same functionality on Office 2K, you need to buy acrobat
distiller which I think costs about €600 per seat. This is a big win.
6. Office power users won't like it. This is something you will just have
to live with. These people have built up all of the arcane knowledge about
word, excel and powerpoint required to really make office fly. This will
translate conceptually over to OOo but not directly. They'll just have to
relearn that stuff.
7. Documentation: there are hundreds of books on MS Office out there and
only a handfull on StarOffice/OpenOffice. Check the openoffice.org site
for a list of books.
In my opinion, your main problems will not relate to technical limitations of
the software but user acceptance. For non power users, the transition should
be something akin to a transition from Office 2000 to Office 2003 but this
kind of change is easier since people buy into it more readily.
You can potentially sell it on security and the fact that people can legally take
away a copy themselves and install it at home. Also, 2.0 will be using the
Open Doc format which unlike MS Office, is an open standard. State funded
institutions have a mandate to prefer open standards where this is feasible
and OpenOffice/StarOffice definitely win here.
> I was just wondering if anyone had any opinions on Star Office? How is
> interoperability with MS Office, and how does functionality compare to
> MS Office?
>> Also if anyone is using Star Office or knows of any companies or
> organisations using Star Office, I'd be interested to talk to them.
> Irish Linux Users' Group
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