Review: StarOffice 8 September 29, 2005Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
Yesterday Sun Microsystems released StarOffice 8 for the general public and I think Sun did an outstanding job on the release. I was very excited and downloaded the downloadable version. After 3 hours, yes it was slow. StarOffice 8 was mine. Install was pretty much effortless and just installed. I’m a WordPerfect user so Im not doing a snow job for Microsoft here.
What’s new in StarOffice? New file formats (the ones that are on a great debate) a new look and feel and a new Access type application called Base. For migrating Office users you will find a heavy influence from Office on this release. It can now translate Microsoft Macros and importing Office files is much faster. StarOffice 8 also opens password protected Office files. Everything in StarOffice has been much improved and I give it a strong buy rating with prejudice.
Why do I say with prejudice? First, if you are a previous StarOffice user you have to upgrade. If you are a WordPerfect user than by all means move, I have. If you work in a mixed environment with Solaris or Linux with Windows than get StarOffice. If you are tired of Microsofts forced upgrades than StarOffice for you. If you are a Linux or Solaris user than StarOffice is for you. If you use FreeBSD or Mac OS X, sorry, you will have to wait for OpenOffice.org. If you are happy with Office XP or Office 2003 and can justify the new features of Office 2003, stick with what you have. I put this release on the technical equivalence of Office 2000 and there is nothing in this release that is justifiable in moving from Office 2003 to StarOffice 8, for me to say so would be a lie. Office 2003 is still a winner and Office 12 will put Microsoft’s offerings that much more ahead.
What didn’t I like about it? There wasn’t much I didn’t like there are some things I would like to see added. First, heavily formatted documents especially spreadsheets and presentations still have their quirks. I would also like to see Viewer apps, like Microsoft makes for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, available for StarOffice and OpenOffice.
Overall, exciting release and I wish Sun well with it. If you fall into the categories of users I mention above with the exception of happy Office users definitely try the suite.