Sun Microsystem’s StarOffice is a very robust office suite and includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentations and more. It normally sells for close to $70 and is a step-up from the open source project version; OpenOffice.
It’s a great announcement for those looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Office–just don’t suggest that Google is competing with Microsoft–but what does it mean for Google and Sun?
When we first announced the partnership between the two companies, it was suspected that we’d see a co-branded version of OpenOffice. Now that we see StarOffice available as a free download, it raises a few questions:
- Sun must be ready to abandon any future revenues from StarOffice–why would anyone pay for it now?
- Is there a next stage to this announcement? When you give something away for free, it’s usually the first step of a long-term plan.
- Is Google subsidizing the cost of StarOffice?
- What’s in it for Sun? There’s no apparent revenues to be earned from this.
- Why is Sun still bidding on “StarOffice” at Google AdWords?
I have more questions than I have answers, but I’m sure things will be revealed over the coming months.