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Sun to charge for StarOffice 6.0

There have been reports that Sun Microsystems will begin to charge for its Windows and Linux versions of StarOffice 6.0, although Solaris versions will continue to be free.

There have been reports that Sun Microsystems will begin charging Linux and Windows users for the next version of its StarOffice software. StarOffice 6.0, which is scheduled for release in May, is likely to have a price tag attached to it. Solaris versions of StarOffice, however, will continue to remain free.

Sun’s StarOffice software suite has posed a significant threat to Microsoft’s Office as its interface and use are similar to the latter, and it has been free to download, so far. Moreover, anti-Microsoft IT users and advocates of open-source advocates have used Star Office as a “free” weapon against “proprietary” Microsoft software.

Whether the new decision from Sun will alienate some of its open-source friends remains to be seen. Nevertheless, reports of an impending announcement from Sun, have already evoked many responses from the open-source community at Slashdot.org’s discussion site. One user says, “Amazon's current price for StarOffice 5.2 Deluxe is $37 and for what I get out of StarOffice that I downloaded from Sun $37, it is worth it. I'd even say $50 is fine. But if they intend to make this a $199 package, they're not going to get a second look from anyone in the Windows world. To pay half the price and get even 90% of the features and compatibility isn't going to sway the typical decision makers. To pay a tenth—now we're talking!”

The local office of Sun Microsystems, however, declined to comment further on the price issue, stating that “StarOffice would be free for download until further notice.”

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