StarOffice available for Solaris on x86 systems

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Wednesday introduced a version of StarOffice 7 for the x86 variant of its Solaris operating system, a preface to offering a complete desktop software system built around the Unix-based OS.

Sun also announced that United India Insurance Co. Ltd. has selected StarOffice over Microsoft Corp.’s Office. The company, one of the largest insurance sellers in India, plans to buy 10,000 seats of StarOffice, with installation planned to occur in the first quarter of this year, Sun said in a statement.

The x86 version of Solaris runs on computers with processors that support the x86 instruction set, such as those manufactured by Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Sun’s main Solaris version is for multiprocessing and 64-bit computing using UltraSPARC processor-based systems.

Although Sun has traditionally aimed both of the Solaris OSes toward use in server computers, it now also plans to promote desktop use of the software. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor intends to offer a version of the Java Desktop System based on the x86 and Sparc versions of Solaris by the end of the year.

Sun last year introduced its Java Desktop System based on Linux to offer computer users an alternative to Microsoft Corp.’s dominant Windows and Office offerings. The Java Desktop System includes StarOffice as well as a host of other software, such as a Web browser, media player and instant messaging client.

StarOffice 7 for Solaris x86 is priced at US$79.95 and is available online. Pricing is the same as for other StarOffice versions, which already includes StarOffice for Solaris for SPARC platforms as well as for Windows and Linux.

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