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.
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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.