Sun Microsystems plans to launch the latest version of its StarOffice collaboration suite this week.
StarOffice 8 comes with a spreadsheet, a word processor, database and presentation software, and includes greater integration with Microsoft Office files so users can import and export Microsoft Office files more easily.
The greater integration is designed to tempt Microsoft shops with Sun’s cheaper suite.
Version 8 is the first StarOffice upgrade for around two years; its appearance had been expected earlier this year.
The retail price of StarOffice 8 is £59 and downloads cost £42. Firms can take out a per-user licence for £20.
StarOffice supports the OpenDocument format, an open-source initiative for easily sharing files between different PCs.
The launch of StarOffice 8 is expected to be followed up soon by the fully open-source equivalent OpenOffice.org.
Sun is the major backer behind the OpenOffice.org collaboration suite, which contains similar programs with less functionality.