StarOffice 7 is too cheap
By ColmSmyth on Nov 20, 2004
I've been using StarOfffice for about 9 years (I started about 2 years before I joined Sun), mainly on Windows and Solaris, but more recently on Linux (Java Desktop System). It's always been a great office suite, very reliable, especially on longer documents where Word let me down a lot - anything over 3 pages seemed to make Word unstable.
Currently I use StarOffice 7 and it's rock solid with great interoperability with Microsoft Office (the documents within Sun tend to be almost all created within StarOffice, but I read documents (mainly Word and PowerPoint) posted on the web (for example, I've been looking at Tom Peter's PowerPoint deck - wow!) and occasionally I use templates from the office.microsoft.com for inspiration (I was actually using some nice Excel ones earlier).
So it's with amazement that I see Sun's promotion of StarOffice 7 for $39.95 (I don't even want to calculate what that is in Euro; well actually I do - I just used an exchange rate calculator and it works out at 30.60 Euro). That is an incredible price for a full office suite; I guess Sun must really want to get this product out to the market but in my view that is just too cheap; the templates and dictionary alone must be worth more than that, and it's got more applications in it than the Microsoft Office Standard Edition (oh my god, I just checked Microsoft's site - retail price is $399, I don't even have to use an exchange rate calculator for that because it's an even 10 times the price of StarOffice - 306 Euro).
I guess the only thing to do is take advantage of it while it lasts, so I've just figured out what I'm getting my sister for Christmas! She's started a home business making arts and crafts (like runs of 100 or less of really unique cards for busineses to send out to customers) and although she has a really nice PC, she's been using Microsoft Works up to now. She needs a real office suite though, for things like designing cards (StarOffice Draw), writing up invoices (StarOffice Writer) and doing her accounts (StarOffice Calc)). I can get her the current issue of Computer Arts magazine too - it has a Start Your Own Design Business topic (setting up a business, branding, logos, business card design) - just the right thing. Alright, that's one gift down (and just 33 shopping days to go!)