Monday, August 20, 2007

[TIPS] Google and StarOffice - A package deal

An assignment for a grad class a couple years ago had us 'researching' and recommending a Word Processor for use in schools. (I think there was a right answer, which I missed.) The other groups recommended Microsoft Word because, they said, it came installed on all computers. So much for the research part, eh?
On the other hand, I recommended StarOffice. (I also recommended AbiWord for elementarty schools and that didn't go over any better.) I said that StarOffice was a full package with all the same parts as Microsoft's Office, but it was free for Education. And, the difference between StarOffice and the MS Office package was no more of an issue than Microsoft's next version would be from its current version. Little did I know the dramatic changes in store for users in Office 2007.
So this morning (it's now 4:13am and I can't sleep) I read this article from TechCrunch that says that StarOffice will now be bundled in with the Google Pack of desktop applications. Read more about it here: The pack also includes Google Earth, Google Desktop, Picasa, Firefox, and even some anti-virus and anti-spyware apps. The pack can also include Skype in the bundle. A grand slam package, is it not? For fun (geek fun, perhaps) read the comments on the TechCrunch article.
Since StarOffice can read and write in MS formats, what's not to like? Neither the TechCrunch article nor the Google Pack site page nor any other article I could find on the Google site, offer any hint about whether or not this means that there will be any sort of ability to sync StarOffice with Google Docs, but... isn't that the next logical step? Maybe if all technology advancements stopped right now then the answer would be no. But, take this partnership out a few years (probably less) and it makes the perfect "Giant Killer" app.
Yes, it's now 4:35am and I can't sleep. But I'll bet there are LOTS of folks in Redmond who aren't sleeping well these days, as well.

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