It has been years since Microsoft had any real competition for its Office productivity suite — the software package that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Once-popular competitors like WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 have been reduced to tiny niche players. This article evaluates Star Office in comparison to MS Office.
Sun’s StarOffice Still Can’t Rival Microsoft
2003-11-16 Office 121 Comments
MS Office cheap for students?
If you choose the student option at the Sun website, you can download StarOffice 7 for free.
I don’t really care about 100% MS Office compatibility and I think most normal people don’t. MS Office isn’t even 100% compatible with itself when you check out different versions and different platforms.
“Synergy, the release cycle for OOo2/SO8 is 18 months, not 9 months (sometime 1st quarter 2005)”
according to the roadmap-pdf, ooo2 will be released in the 4th qt. 2004, with betas already in 3rd qt. dependent on how stable those late betas are (those of ooo1.1 were imo fine to work with), we are speaking about 9-12 months.
of course, staroffice might get released a little later, but you might be able to use ooo2.0 while you wait for its release.
but maybe this pdf is already outdated and you’ve newer informations…
OpenOffice does everything I need it to do and more, and it doesn’t cost me hundreds of dollars.
What kind of evaluation is this anyway? Considering the inflammatory comments and lack of detail on why he thinks StarOffice can’t rival MS Office, the guy obviously has some ax to grind with the Open Source community and an infatuation with Microsoft.
“One annoying feature tries to complete words you type.”? One annoying feature of MS Office for me, when I am forced to use it at work, is that it does not try to complete the words for me. OpenOffice has spoiled me with productivity there.
Notwithstanding the Tender Loving Care put into Power Point presentations, I dare say that most of them, like ads on TV, are irrelevant, carefully crafted preaching to the converted–converted either for or against the tout. MS is the last compnay I’d want to give away my “copyrights” to, so that I cannot handle my material without Them.
When using MS Word, for example, all text files should be saved as RTF files. Pass the wrod. Tell the office workers, tell the temps, go around MS. Whenever possible eliminate MS proprietary file types, and some of these issues will evaporate. The same, BTW, should be done with Star Office, or Open Office, etc, save as universal file types whenever possible.
“I can’t think of any reason why Pantone patents would affect CMY or CMYK support. Lots of programs (on other platforms) support these colour spaces”
As I understand it the PANTONE patents cover CMYK the other programs you see that use it are proprietary and pay them license fees.
There is no excuse not to be able to use MS docs; at all!:
Nothing similar to Word’s outline view in OOo’s wordprocessor is a killer for me. Outline view is a great way of structuring docs as you write – and especially for rearranging sections in large documents.
While some people have commented of some incompatibilities between SO 7 and MS Office, one thing you must admit is that most people would never care. As some people have admitted that they have written doctoral thesis with OOo so for some people SO 7 has everything they need for less. At about half the student price one really has to have a good reason to buy MS Office over SO 7 when one doesn’t have a lot of money. If you consider the support for PDF and flash in the box that MS Office doesn’t have one can say that it is better than MS Office in at least one area, so to say that the product that you are buying is completely inferior isn’t correct. While the lack of 100% compatibility with Office file formats might prevent some business from implementing it I can’t help, but think that for a lot of organizations that only largely exchange files internally that the argument that one need 100% compatibility isn’t a very good one either.
Hmm, I guess I got a special discount based on my good looks? My Student version only cost $149, Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook… Four top of the class apps for <$40 each. Not too bad IMHO.
I dont know why it is so important to have “outlook” like application with Staroffice. Outlook is totally proprietary and sometimes very annoying (because you dont know what is going on behind the scenes). On any platform (WindowZe or Linux or Unix) there are plenty of options for internet messaging clients such as Mozilla, evolution etc. As far as price goes corporates dont get $149 price anyway. For staroffice you buy it only if you are looking for support. If i were a student i dont even buy it rather i would just download the openoffice and read the documents and FAQ.
You know you’re going to be screwed when the title is: “StarOffice still can’t rival Microsoft”. The reviewer makes a lot of noise about how incompatible StarOffice 7 is with MS Word docs. Well, they’re in good company. Guess what else has compatibility issues? Hmmmm?
These guys kill me. somehow they’ve got the world thinking that the .DOC format is so ubiquitous that any version of MS Office opens any other version. Wrong. Here’s a few examples:
-Try and open up ANY MS Word document post-Office 95 with Office 95.
-Try and open up any asian formatted documents (and some other foreign character-based documents) using a version of Word other than the one it was created on. Crash-ola!
-Got documents created in Works (pre-2000)? Huh. Good luck suckers.
-Did you know that not every .pub file created with Publisher 2000 will come across correctly in Publisher 2002? Yeah, we found that out last year. Seems the formatting got a little strange on some documents. Sound familiar?
MS has done a fine enough job breaking their own rules. They embed code bits simply to confuse and obfusticate competitors but this also serves to break previous versions of their format. Not a word is ever said about this little factoid. Office is only guaranteed compatible as you have money to pony up for the next version.
So what’s this ‘Rival’ thing mean anyway? It doesn’t rival MS because it can’t open it’s broken .doc standards? How is that in any way a fair, objective look?
When I bought my new laptop it only came with MS Works. I was going to put my copy of Office97 on there, but I could no longer find my install CD. I decided to give OO the college try and use it instead of MS Office. I can honestly say that I don’t miss a single Office feature. While I use MS Office 2000 and XP at work, I never felt any great need to move from Office 97 at home. Now I don’t feel any need to buy Office at all. Incidentally, I eventually found my Office 97 disk but still haven’t found it necessary to install it.
OpenOffice/StarOffice works as well as MS Office 98% of the time. I never venture into the other 2% of the time anyways. The only thing I find lacking is the ability to make a graph sheet as opposed to a graph the size of the existing window on a regular spreedsheet worksheet. Outside of that, now that I’ve found their equivalent of Pivot Tables and VB Scripting, I never run into any shortcomings.
It has been years since Microsoft had any real competition for its Office productivity suite…
What a stupid statement. Have you ever heard of Open Office? This product blows bloatware MS Office into smithereens.
I never bothered to read past the first sentence in this article because obviously the author knows nothing about the subject!
“dont know why it is so important to have “outlook” like application with Staroffice. Outlook is totally proprietary and sometimes very annoying (because you dont know what is going on behind the scenes). On any platform (WindowZe or Linux or Unix) there are plenty of options for internet messaging clients such as Mozilla, evolution etc. As far as price goes corporates dont get $149 price anyway. For staroffice you buy it only if you are looking for support. If i were a student i dont even buy it rather i would just download the openoffice and read the documents and FAQ.”
What planet do you live on? EVERYONE uses Outlook. Perhaps you do not work??? — anyway, this IS the standard in almost every corporation — find a perfect replacement cheaper or better; or you are out of the game.
Who uses 95??? this is 8 years old! gone, unsupported by anyone. This is from the time of Amipro! This is moot. Less than 3 -4% must be using Office 95… Still more than OOo?
Staroffice 7 is free for Students, just go to http://www.sun.com/staroffice/ , fill a little form and you can download it.
It’s similar to OOo 1.1 but runs faster, has better dictionaries and a database program (which you can download separately or not).
You have you facts backwards!
soffice uses 15.872 K in mem.
word uses 6.405 K in mem & starts faster (with or without preloading).
Obfuscating the truth does not help he OSS. It deteriorates it’s credibility. So stop it! Now!
Zealots have a negative effect on OSS perception in the public. Ironically, by being a zealot you actually are Microsofts ally; did you ever think of that?
You want to act in the OSS’s favour; then, provide constructive criticism and accurate data.
> People complain that it cant import MS formats….let us see how well MS works with StarOffice format?? Did they ever consider that MS itself is solely to blame for format troubles ??
That’s true, but it’s not the point. If I build a document in OO and save it in Microsoft’s format, I can’t be assured it will open perfectly in Word. It will almost certainly open, as the article states, but graphics may be in the wrong place, formatting might be different, and borders may have floated randomly across the text. I’ve personally been bitten by all these problems.
This situation is unacceptable to professional users. Nobody has time to futz around reformatting a mangled document. It’s worse yet explaining to one’s co-worker, boss, or client that it’s really Word’s fault they can’t display whatever it is they’re expecting.
Don’t get me wrong: I think OO is terrific, and use it for all my personal writing (in its native format). It’s easy to use and remakably full-featured for a young open source project. OO opens virtually all Word documents, even if they don’t always look exactly as composed.
But I’m also using Word 2000 and Codeweaver’s Crossover Office on my SUSE box. For critical work, the only way to *know* a Word document can be opened by most professional users is to generate it in a Microsoft program. It’s a pity, but that’s how things are.
As an aside, Crossover Office is amazing. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all fire up immediately and behave just like native programs. I’ve found very few bugs. It’s safe for regular office use.
A step forward would be for all Open Source office projects to agree on an XML-based document format with a standard file extension. Then, as Linux use rises, Microsoft may find itself obliged to support the open format in their own programs.
A few years back I did a course at a local polytech and it used
MS Office exclusively. Any complex *.docs that where created where not opened exactly the same in the same computer suite, let alone other PCs and this was getting the file from the same source on the network
I think this article does exactly the opposite of what its title implies. For many of the examples in the article I would choose Star Office over open office. I like how it summarized the OpenOffice platform as being the base of StarOffice and how almost all test documents open great. The saving part could be a major problem, but I think it definitely proves it is time to start switching. And the stuff about the student/teacher version is just laughable. Our product is cheap because the company looks the other way?? I don’t think so, Star Office is cheap because it is cheap. One reason I got into open source is because I was tired of pirating software. Even if the company condones it, it is still pirating.
For work, I need to correct documents sent to me by students. They can send me PDF, Word or OO format.
They all sent them in Word format this time. So I open them in MS Office XP: 2 out of the 4 documents won’t function correctly. When I try to print 1, it prints blank pages, the other hangs. People pay money for this?
(Btw, I write my documents in LateX)