Subject: Re: [open-source] Sun to start charging for Star Office
To: NetBSD User's Discussion List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Jim DeLisle <email@example.com>
Date: 03/21/2002 10:39:33
Sean Witham wrote:
> Steve Bellovin wrote:
>> ------- Forwarded Message
> If they are going to charge for the right to use it (and not just the
> right to gain support) then MS windows users may as well just buy MS
> office. They will have better interoprability with all the other MS
> windows users with office and have something they are use to...
> Just my opinion.
I could hardly disagree more. Sun has put a great deal of money and
effort into making StarOffice a viable alternative to MS Office. True
(and I'm not discounting this in the least) a great number of non-Sun
developers have also put alot of effort and time into making StarOffice.
So, now, after a couple of years when Sun feels that StarOffice may have
some legs in the corporate world, Sun decides that they are going to
start charging for it. Big deal. As odd as it sounds, most corporate IT
shops _still_ place the value of a product on the cost of the product. I
know that after years of open source OS's being around, you would think
that would have changed. But it really hasn't seemed to. If Sun decides
that they could actually have a larger installed corporate base if they
charge a modest fee for the use of the product, then more power to them.
Maybe this would even help fund further development on Star and Open
office. Or, maybe this would even help keep a staunch protagonist to MS
from folding up an alternative product (ala WordPerfect). I don't think
that Sun is looking to make a huge profit from this, they just seem to
be looking at a way to help StarOffice fund itself better.
What is the difference between this and the way any number of other open
source packages are developed? Sure, you can get (for example) the Linux
kernel and a slew of support packages on your own for free by
downloading them and muddle through setting up a system on your own. Or,
you can download ISO images of your favorite distribution (both Linux
and *BSD). Or, you can show your support for a company or group or
individual and send them a few dollars for a packaged installation. I've
bought NetBSD from Wasabi because I believe in what they are doing and
wanted to show my support. I buy Slackware Linux distributions because I
think Patrick is one of the unheralded Linux heroes of our time.
If OpenOffice was yanked, I would feel differently, like Sun had taken
advantage of the developer resources that gave so much to help make
StarOffice what it is.
You still have a choice. No one is taking that away from you. Which is
exactly what MS does _not_ want to let continue. Show your support.
Maybe not by buying a copy of StarOffice, but maybe by contributing to
It's still your choice.