Sun adds Arabic to StarOffice

Sun Microsystems is adding Arabic language support to its next release of StarOffice, its office productivity suite, which it is launching later this month. StarOffice 7.0 will be Arabic-enabled, allowing users to write documents in Arabic.

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By  Peter Branton Published  September 9, 2003

Sun Microsystems is adding Arabic language support to its next release of StarOffice, its office productivity suite, which it is launching later this month.

StarOffice 7.0 will be Arabic-enabled, allowing users to write documents in Arabic, and the company is planning to create a fully-Arabised version of the product, with help pages and all user interfaces in Arabic in subsequent point releases, according to Sun’s volume system manager for South Eastern EMEA John Foster.

“We’ve already seen a lot of interest in the Middle East for StarOffice, especially from the government and education sector, so we expect a lot more attention when we get the Arabic features,” he said. OpenOffice, the open source version of StarOffice is already Arabic-enabled, he added.

StarOffice and OpenOffice are seen by many analysts as the most credible threat to Microsoft’s own Office software suite. Sun claims that the two suites have been downloaded more than 40 million times between them.

While keeping OpenOffice as freeware, Sun offers StarOffice as a corporate product, and charges according to volume licensing and support levels required. StarOffice 7.0 pricing is expected to be in the range of $40 to $90.

This is still considerably cheaper than Office, Foster contends. “The move to StarOffice is all part of a general move towards bringing down the cost of your office environment,” he said. StarOffice is also a multi-platform product, working with Sun’s Solaris, Linux and Windows operating systems.

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