One main reason for considering the potentially tricky migration from Office to StarOffice in all or part of an organization is the significantly lower per-user license costs for the Sun suite$70 for a downloadable version of the product, compared with about $500 for Microsoft Office Professional Edition. StarOffices wholly open-source sibling, OpenOffice.org, is available free of charge, comes bundled with most Linux distributions and is completely compatible with StarOffice. A special report focusing on migration issues and OpenOffice.org 2.0 will appear in a forthcoming issue of eWEEK.While a move to StarOffice or OpenOffice.org neednt accompany a migration away from Windows, these suites can pave the way to such a move in the future--a measure of flexibility that one cant expect from Microsoft and Office. Next Page: File-format compatibility.
But perhaps just as important as licensing costs is cross-platform support, and StarOffice clearly beats Microsoft Office here, running on Windows-, Linux- and Solaris-based systems. And through OpenOffice.org and OpenOffice.org derivatives such as NeoOffice/J, support for StarOffice 8s formats and scripting framework extends to Mac OS X and FreeBSD, with other ports in progress.