Apple Computer and Sun Microsystems are in the planning phase to produce Sunis office productivity package, StarOffice, for OS X. As reported by Joe Wilcox in a News.com article titled iSun to push StarOffice for Appleis OS Xi , Sun and Apple are working together to initially produce a Java version of StarOffice, to be available by year end (2002), then a full version using Appleis Aqua GUI. From the artcle:
Apple Computer and Sun Microsystems are cooperating on a version of Sunis StarOffice productivity software for Mac OS X, the companies said.
Sun has been looking for hardware allies in its long-running quest to popularize StarOffice, which competes against Microsoft Office. To date, no major PC makers have pledged to heavily promote StarOffice.
Apple also gains a friend to help counter its increasingly contentious relationship with Microsoft, which has been struggling with sales of its Office v. X suite for Macintosh. Microsoft expected to sell 750,000 copies of the software; since its release last November, only 300,000 copies of Mac Office have sold.
The partnership is expected to produce a Java-based version of OpenOffice by the end of the year, followed by a commercial StarOffice release sometime in 2003.
"I think you can see OpenOffice running solid on OS X by the end of this calendar year," said Tony Siress, Sunis senior director of desktop marketing solutions.
The Open Source version of StarOffice, OpenOffice, was recently released for OS X but it requires an X11 server, such as XDarwin, to run. It is still in early development and many features are either not functioning properly or are slow. Still, the release of OpenOffice for OS X shows promise. Beyond being Open Source, the biggest difference between the two is StarOfficeis use of licensed ad-ons, like fonts.
The article goes on to point out that Sun would prefer that Apple provide StarOffice as a bundled applications, essentially, a free app. From the article:
Ultimately, the success of StarOffice on OS X might come down to Apple, and not Sun.
"I donit want to sell StarOffice for OS X," Siress said. "I want Apple to bundle it. Iill give them the code. Iid love it if I could get the team at Apple to do joint development and they distribute it at no cost--that itis their product. Nobody makes a product more beautiful on Apple than Apple."
Check out the full article at News.com.