Sun Upgrades StarOffice

Sun Microsystems Inc. is on track to release StarOffice 6, its open-source productivity application suite that includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database applications for Solaris, Windows and Linux.

Sun Microsystems Inc. is on track to release StarOffice 6, its open-source productivity application suite that includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database applications for Solaris, Windows and Linux.

Iyer Venkatesan, senior product manager for StarOffice, said that Sun plans to release StarOffice 6 later this year. While Venkatesan is aiming for next quarter, the date could be pushed to the fourth quarter.

StarOffice 6 will include the recently finalized XML (Extensible Markup Language) file format specifications, which will make file sharing far easier. "Files will now be able to be saved in either an XML format or in the current binary format," Venkatesan said. "It lets users easily share information across applications and will simplify the importing and exporting of files from different programs while greatly improving file sharing and readability."

The components will be launched separately in StarOffice 6, helping to improve performance. Asian language support will be included.

Sun will work to put filters in place to ensure compatibility between StarOffice 6 and Microsoft Corp.s Office XP as soon as the latter is released in May. "The current StarOffice 5.2 is compatible with Office 95, 97, 2000, and we hope to have the filters in place for XP by the time StarOffice 6 is released. But, if not, it will be available shortly thereafter," Venkatesan said.