StarOffice 8

This past week, I tested StarOffice, from Sun, Inc.

A question posed to me by my brother Greg, and a couple of responders to my blog offline: would I recommend StarOffice, and under what conditions?

While I have issues with document fidelity in the conversion of Microsoft Office documents, I have no problem recommending the applications suite as long as projected usage is within the narrow confines of conditions I shall declare below.

Apart from that, at about $70 per user, it is inexpensive, though not in any way a cheapo. It is fast to launch, and handles conversions speedily.

It is also a Sun-branded product. Apart from their forays into begging for governmental assistance in competing, Sun Microsystems – forgive me, J Schwartz, I cannot think of it as anything else – does create pretty good software, and excellent hardware, as Solaris would attest. I have every confidence in their customer service and support, and continued development of their products.

Conditions I would recommend StarOffice

A new company without any inventory of Microsoft Office documents.

A client moving from an other-than-Microsoft Office suite, such as WordPerfect, Corel Office, Lotus, etc.

A home user who does not have Microsoft Office.

In all instances listed above, my first option would be an unequivocal recommendation of Microsoft Office as the first choice, defaulting only to StarOffice if the client cannot afford Microsoft Office.

I would not, under any circumstance, recommend any office suite, including StarOffice, to any client who has a sizeable inventory of Microsoft Office documents. I would decline the commission for that project immediately.

Finally, it would go without saying, that usage of StarOffice would not be supported by our employees.

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