Sun readies StarOffice beta

By   |  March 11, 2003

From ComputerWorld – Sun Microsystems is gearing up to release the first public beta of the next version of StarOffice, hoping to boost the level of competition in the market for desktop productivity software.

The beta version of StarOffice 6.1 will be available for download from Sun\’s Web site by the middle of next week. It adds features designed to make it more appealing to large businesses, said Iyer Venkatesan, Sun\’s product line manager for StarOffice. The final version is expected to ship in September or October, he said.

\”The main focus with 6.1 is the enterprise. We made it ready for enterprise deployment,\” he said.

The company faces some healthy competition. Ottawa-based Corel said last week that it plans to ship the next version of its productivity suite, WordPerfect Office 11, in late April. And market leader Microsoft released the final public beta of Office 2003, an upgrade to its own desktop productivity suite, today.

The StarOffice beta will be available for Sun Solaris, Linux and versions of Windows from Windows 98 on, Venkatesan said. Sun hopes to sign up about 50,000 users for the beta trial and will screen them to ensure that an even mix of platforms, languages and types of user are represented. About 10,000 users have already signed up for the test, according to Venkatesan.

The main enhancements in StarOffice 6.1 include management tools that make it easier for businesses to deploy and configure the suite across a large number of systems. Sun also made the product compatible with tools used by people with disabilities, such as screen magnifiers and text-to-speech engines, which is a requirement for products to be used by the U.S. government, Venkatesan said.

Read more at ComputerWorld


Comments are closed