Google Pack, the collection of applications recommended by Google for a new PC, includes an office suite: StarOffice, a proprietary software developed by Sun. In 2000 Sun released StarOffice’s source code, which became the foundation of OpenOffice.org, an open source project sponsored by Sun.
StarOffice 8 is a full-featured office suite that contains a word processor, a spreadsheet tool, applications for presentations, databases, math formulas and drawing. It has support for most Microsoft Office formats (except for the formats introduced in Office 2007), but it can also export documents as PDF out of the box. The software normally costs $70, but it’s available for free in Google Pack. It’s worth noting that StarOffice has a huge installer (more than 140 MB), so you should download it only if you have a fast Internet connection.
It will be interesting to see why Google didn’t choose to include OpenOffice.org, the primary difference between StarOffice and OpenOffice.org being that StarOffice includes some proprietary components like clip-art graphics, fonts, templates and tools for Microsoft Office migration.
The next step would probably be the addition of a plug-in that lets you synchronize local documents with Google Docs & Spreadsheets, so you can have the best of the both worlds: edit complicated documents offline, collaborate and store files securely online. For now, StarOffice is integrated with Google Search and Google Desktop.
Google, Google Pack, StarOffice, Sun, OpenOffice, Open Source, Open-Source, New Features, Google Pack Features