... or because ...
"Or you may find yourself paying for StarOffice simply because you don't know any better" - or because you just like paying for the software you use? It's not like $35 is more that few rounds in the pub.
Little more than a month after the release of OpenOffice 3.0, Sun Microsystems has officially unveiled a major update to StarOffice, the OpenOffice twin that comes with a price tag. Like OpenOffice 3, released to great fanfare in mid-October, StarOffice 9 can run on Mac OS X, a computer operating system used by a well-known …
If I recall correctly, the original argument put forward by Sun was that corporate IT departments had a fundamental mistrust of anything that's free. If it's given away it must be worthless. Furthermore, the whole open source thing was perceived to be alien when it came to support.
By offering something packaged in the same way as the other alternatives, enlightened IT people could show the beancounters how much of a huge saving they could make, rather than try and get them to take a risk on something free.
As a result, Star/OOo has been accepted as a viable alternative to the older (better!) versions of MS office. Corporates pay a small amount and feel comforted by the warm glow of support, normal people just get it for free and Sun gets a few bucks for their troubles. Sounds good to me.
One final thought. Does anyone ever use the support? Has anyone ever had any help from MS when Word breaks? Or do people just STFW for the answer?
But don't tell the beancounters....
Good thing is that their support (enterprise level, at least) is superb. My friend's company had some issues - they got a patch in 2 days. They needed extra functionality, little thing, but patch landed in 2 weeks. You don't see this kind of stuff often. And for that price tag?
Also El Reg forgot about extras that come with StarOffice that are not present in OpenOffice. There're some filters, and other goodies. Check their webpage for details as I'm not a user so don't know really.
"Or you may find yourself paying for StarOffice simply because you don't know any better."
Actually, you have a point. It's the only reason, really ... Except noone remembers StarOffice anymore, nowadays, so it's gonna be some years before that only reason begins to be valid ...
You can prepare your next story about SUN ditching StarOffice again :-)
Of course El Reg is tabloid news. Everyone knows that, so you take whatever is said with a grain of salt. That's what makes it so interesting. Some (most) of what is said is total bunk, but it makes it fun trying to figure out what is correct and what is not. I would hope that most folks that read El Reg are critical thinkers.
...Adabas D as a commercial database app. Anybody remember when they dropped the image editor component (was still there in 5.1—pretty good one, actually, could use Photoshop plug-ins and everything; back then it was the clincher for me to buy SO because the GIMP was still a little rudimentary at that time)?
MS likes to rattle around about owning some patents used in OOo, while Sun sits pretty in mutual assured destruction land, able to shield their customers from a long frivolous lawsuit.
It doesnt matter that your business will eventually win MS's suite, they'll tie up (a whole lot of) your cash, and thats in extra tight supply these days.
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