New features for StarOffice 8

Sun Microsystems is expected to release its next version of StarOffice in July, bringing new compatibility with its chief competitor, Microsoft Office, the company said. The StarOffice software, which shares the same code base as the open-source OpenOffice, is used for tasks such as word processing and spreadsheet calculations.

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By  Jane Plunkett Published  May 18, 2005

Sun Microsystems is expected to release its next version of StarOffice in July, bringing new compatibility with its chief competitor, Microsoft Office, the company said. The StarOffice software, which shares the same code base as the open-source OpenOffice, is used for tasks such as word processing and spreadsheet calculations. “StarOffice’s full-feature set should win a lot of plaudits out there in the business community,” said Jamie Bliss, software sales manager, Sun Microsystems MENA. “With word processing and spreadsheet tools, presentation functions, drawing tools and database capabilities, StarOffice exceeds the requirements of office workers. For designers and multimedia programmers, StarOffice can export to PDF and to the Macromedia Flash format, and comes with a Java/C++/StarBasic software development kit, a macro recorder, and support for complex text layouts,” he added. Sun boasts on its Web site that ‘StarOffice 8’, its new version of StarOffice, will include dramatically improved Microsoft Office compatibility. It claims to support new features such as password protection for Word and Excel documents and spreadsheets; tables, paragraphs, page breaks and column breaks in Word documents; large Excel spreadsheets; Excel spreadsheet formulas; and PowerPoint AutoShapes. A lot of these improvements will be included in OpenOffice as well, Sun said in a statement. StarOffice 8 also has interface changes. The overall suite has streamlined, detachable and context-sensitive toolbars. Impress presentation software has multiple panes intended to facilitate creation of slide shows,. And the Base database software has new wizards to automate several tasks. In addition, Bliss said that the StarOffice software is Arabic-enabled, just one of eleven languages the software will be available in. Sun is confident that the StarOffice software will be a success on the marketplace. “With previous versions of StarOffice taking the number one position for office suite use on Linux and the Solaris operating systems, we are confident that StarOffice 8 will win even more converts to Sun on the Windows operating platform’” Bliss commented.

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