Sun Posts StarOffice 9 Beta For OS X


Sun Microsystems posted a beta version of StarOffice 9 today (based on OpenOffice). The 183MB download gives you a disk image that contains an application you just copy into your Applications folder (no icky/cumbersome installer). Upon first launch, it prompts you to read the license agreement and asks for some basic user information. Unfortunately, it also stalled on me and required a Force Quit and relaunch before I could start testing it out.

All-in-all, there are some pretty neat enhancements, including:

  • support for Microsoft Office 2007 OOXML files
  • a much improved presenter interface (for slideshows)
  • the ability to import and edit PDF files (via an extension)
  • PDF/A export support along with PDF encryption options
  • much better integration with MySQL databases
  • a calendar extension (requires Thunderbird), finally providing StarOffice with the beginnings of an Outlook competitor
  • a blogging & wiki publishing components (additional extensions)
  • charting and “Solver” additions to Calc
  • a new extension framework (allowing you to roll your own)

I had time to try the Microsoft document support and enhanced PDF import & export and was greatly impressed. You edit PDF files in Draw (kinda makes sense) and can do minor manipulations very easily (though the formatting may not always carry over 100% in the beta). I wanted to try the weblog publisher, but it kept hanging StarOffice each time I tried loading the extension (I can, as a result, report that document recovery works perfectly!).

Since it’s beta, Sun would appreciate feedback you can post your experiences/problems to:

  • General Discussions for feedback about all findings around StarOffice 9 Beta
  • Installation for feedback about StarOffice 9 Beta Installation issues, and
  • Extensions for feedback about StarOffice 9 Beta Extensions

StarOffice 8 is currently listing for $69.95USD, so we can probably expect version 9 to be around that price (which is substantially cheaper than Microsoft Office).

If any TAB readers are heavy Calc users or manage to try out the new Impress or blogging/wiki/Outlook features, drop a note in the comments! TAB should have a full review of the finished product once it’s released.



The most obvious point to make here is the that the latter can only take place if there is some adjacent territory to which the group being driven out can easily gain access. ,


Is it really just added fonts? I don’t see anything listed above that I haven’t seen in plain OpenOffice/NeoOffice…

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