CNET Responds To Sun’s Denial Of StarOffice Port

Sun Microsystems "backpedaled" on comments that they were developing a Mac OS X version of StarOffice, according to CNET News.com Staff Writer Joe Wilcox.

Wilcox first reported on Sunis plans for StarOffice in a CNET News.com article July 26, which included parts of an interview with Tony Siress, Sunis senior director of desktop marketing solutions.

The story alarmed members of the open-source community working on OpenOffice, the progenitor of Sunis StarOffice. Shortly after the CNET article was published and after being contacted by Dan Williams, one of the two programmers working on the OS X port of OpenOffice, Siress sent an e-mail to an open-source mailing list to address the situation. According to the latest CNET News.com article:

The e-mail would appear to contradict statements Siress made to CNET News.com in an interview on July 26 about Sunis plans to release a commercial version of StarOffice for Mac OS X as early as next year. In that interview, Siress said that Sun was working on the product with the cooperation of Apple.

Siress went on to characterize that his quotes were misinterpreted, taken out of context and that some were merely wishful thinking.

Wilcox contacted Russell Castronovo, another Sun spokesman, who had seen a partial transcript of the his interview with Siress. Castronovo stated:

"From what I can piece together the (CNET News.com) story is an accurate representation of what was said during the course of the interview," he said. The story "accurately reflected the interview."

Castronovo did not speculate on why Siress said what he did in the interview, but he also emphasized that, "we do not have a version of StarOffice weire planning to deliver right now" for Mac OS X. But he would not say what Sun might do in the future. "Weire actively trying to assist in that development and we would like to have a relationship with Apple to do that."

The article also includes more information and quotes from Wilcoxis original interview. In one quote, Siress discusses Sunis current work with Apple.

"Weire about 30 days from having a plan," Siress said. "One of the things we didnit understand (was) all of Quartz (OS Xis graphics engine), and the people at Apple didnit understand the infrastructure of StarOffice. Thatis all coming to a point where my engineering team has a far better understanding of Quartz and Aqua. Apple, who has now been working in the StarOffice source code, has a far better understanding of the code base itself. What I am asking for is a plan, and one with teeth in it."

Siressi comments also contradict statements given to TMO by Sun Public Relations Representative Marie Domingo. When asked, "Is there currently a Sun/Apple collaboration on StarOffice?" she replied, "Only via openoffice.org."

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