Releases First Suite

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-05-01 Print this article Print

The community released the first version of its free office productivity suite, 1.0.

The community on Wednesday released the first version of its free office productivity suite, 1.0. The software, available for download at, shares the same code base as Suns upcoming StarOffice 6.0 software, which Sun has said will no longer be available as a free download when it is released later this month.
The essential differences between 1.0 and StarOffice 6.0 are that the product is free and does not offer its own support services. It also lacks some of the features and functionality of StarOffice 6.0, which will offer users fee-based support and training as well as deployment and migration services, Zaheda Bhorat, a manager at the community, told eWeek on Wednesday.
StarOffice 6.0 would also offer additional features and functionality, specifically from third-party technology it had licensed, including the Adabas database, some special fonts, file filters and Suns quality and assurance testing, she said. 1.0 is the culmination of more than 18 months of effort by the more than 10,000 members of the community, community member Sam Hiser told eWeek. The community is made up of Sun employees, volunteer developers and end users who worked together to build an international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format, he said. is one of the largest open source projects, with more than 7.5 million lines of code. To date, more than 4.5 million downloads of earlier versions of 1.0 have taken place. Hiser said a stable developer build is already available for the next version of the product, with discussions of future features and functionality including groupware: e-mail, calendaring, scheduling and the requisite server software that would let all this information to be shared. "Thats an exciting thing for the future for us as it allows us to become more of a drop-in replacement for the full Microsoft Office 2000 suite plus Exchange server on all of our platforms, which is very significant," he said.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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