StarOffice 8 the latest version of Sun Microsystems Inc.s inexpensive, cross-platform office productivity suitestands up better than ever next to Microsoft Corp.s market-leading Office in terms of features, extensibility and compatibility. In eWeek Labs tests of StarOffice 8, we were pleased with the suites word processing (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation (Impress) and database (Base) functions. In addition, we experienced generally good results opening and creating Microsoft Office-formatted documents with StarOffice.However, whether StarOffice 8 can succeed as a wholesale or partial replacement for Microsoft Office will depend on the organization thinking about making the switch. Several improvements in StarOffice 8 are aimed directly at improving compatibility with Microsoft Office-formatted documents, but converting complex documents between the two suites formats will in some cases require tweaking to preserve document appearance. In addition, while StarOffice 8 can be extended through macros and scripting, much like Microsoft Office can, these extensions wont migrate to Microsoft Office without being rewritten. However, StarOffice ships with a Macro Migration wizard that will aid in the migration of Microsoft Visual Basic macros to the StarOffice Basic macro language. Theres also a Document Analysis wizard that helps determine where trouble spots might lie in the transition to a StarOffice format. Next Page: Cost cutting.
How do the migration paths for Office 2003 and OpenOffice.org compare? Click here to read more.