Some rules for the MS Office vs. StarOffice contest

Since this is a contest (StarOffice has to compete against 8 years hegemony of MS Office), so we need some ground rules.

Tutorials: I Will not use any tutorials. I never use any tutorials anyway, so this rule is born out of conveniece.
Help: I will look for help within the StarOffice application. I will not look on newsgroups etc.
Usage of MS Products: I will use MS Office only if I absolutely have to during this period (I do have MS Office on an old desktop for dire situations.)

7 thoughts on “Some rules for the MS Office vs. StarOffice contest

  1. I’m curious why you chose Star Office for this, and not Open Office?

    While Star Office has been around longer, Open Office is open source and completely free. I have yet to try Open Office (soon), but hear it’s quite good.

    What worries me about Star Office is not that it isn’t good, but that (a) Open Office exists as a free competitor and (b) Sun has never demonstrated an ability to sell desktop software. Server software, yes, but they’re clueless about the desktop market.

    So as good as Star Office looks, I have to wonder if it will survive.

  2. I chose StarOffice mostly because my students had earlier conducted a usability study comparing StarOffice and MSOfiice. The results of the study indicated that they were pretty similar. So I was curious to compare the results of the lab-based usability study to my own experiences of trying to shift to StarOffice. Maybe I will try downloading OpenOffice and taking a look at it.

    Do you know if in terms of actual interface there are differences between OpenOffice and StarOffice?

  3. I have now downloaded and installed Open Office for both Linux and Windows.

    Is it different than Star Office? Yes, but with a caveat. The last time I used Star Office was two years ago so any comparisons I have are suspect.

    Is it wildly different from either MS Office or Star Office? In my twenty minute test drive I would say, not really. There are some things that are different (like database connections, citation management, and things like that). Most of these differences are features (some extras, some missing) and not about doing things differently.

    But my test was so cursory that my comments should be considered suspect. I am thinking about running a test of Open Office, similar in spirit to your test of Star Office.


  4. Please send me the similarities and differences between MS-Office and Star Office.

    Thanx & Regards,


  5. StarOffice v. – absolutely identical in use as are the effective developers of StarOffice from version 5.1x onwards. StarOffice comes bundled with the Adabas database engine, but that’s not necessary to manipulate databases – the GUI “wizard” can connect to more useful DB engines such as MySQL etc.

    Other than that the only essential difference is the spellchecker (which has some bugs in StarOffice – download the patches from Sun) as Sun (or Star Division) owned rights to a spell check engine that was added separately. The other differences are very minor, such as the packaging and the ability to buy licences.

    Be very interested in information about using the DB tool to teach databases to high school level pupils.

  6. Please send me the similarities and differences between MS-Office and Star Office.

    Thanx & Regards,


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