Star Office 6 Beta Review

Star Office
6 Beta
Open Source (Free)

I have been using StarOffice for quite a few years now. It just keeps getting better. I think that the product is actually getting better ever since Sun Microsystems has grabbed it. I personally have even considered deploying at my place of employment.

This Beta version has some great improvements. I find Beta 6 to be very stable (so far that is) and I am actually using it as my default Application suite.

System Requirements

Like most Linux based applications Star Office runs on very little. Here is what they recommend:

  • Kernel 2.2.13 or better
  • Glibc2 version 2.1.2 or better
  • Pentium or Compatible PC
  • 64 MB of RAM
  • 250 MB hard disk space
  • X Server with 800x600 or higher resolution with at least 256 colors

Ok Here's what I would recommend. Star Office can be resource intensive, especially on startup. I personally never take a manufacturer's minimum requirements seriously.

  • Pentium 166 or better
  • 128 MB RAM
  • X Server with 800x600 and at least 16 bit. (Who wants to work in any less?)

New Features

Lots of new features are included. For those of you who really hated the Star Office desktop will be thrilled to know that it is now gone. This was apparently due to customer dissatisfaction. If you liked it, well tough, it is gone! Another trick feature the addition of Unicode technology. Basically this technology give Asian language support. Here are the highlights:

  • XML file formats
  • Improved interoperability with other application suites (IE Microsoft Office, up to XP)
  • Asian Language support
  • Improved online help
  • Single-Task Focus (IE no Star Office Desktop)
  • Improved User Interface (Dialog boxes, menus and such)
  • Multi-platform support
  • Creativity tools
  • Updated extras (new clipart and templates)
  • Improved System Integration (IE Netscape Integration)
  • Enhanced Security (128 bit encryption support)


The overall product is really slick. Installation is a snap and you do not have to be Super User. Either run the installation script from a command line or double-click on the Icon under your favorite window manager (KDE and GNOME at least). During the install you may also install Sun's Java Runtime. For me it was a pretty quick install. To date I have found no problems with any of my MS Word documents or templates. As before my more sophisticated MS Excel spreadsheets would not open properly. MS Power Point presentations did very well. The reverse for this worked out well too. I was able to create documents under Star Office and save them under MS formats with no major problems. I personally have had no problems with this software, yet. It is Beta software and as always be careful. I have always found this application suite to be very good and reliable. 6.0 Beta is no exception.


The Good - Pros
  • Lot’s of great new features
  • Very good interoperability

The Bad - Cons
  • Not too many - I need the production version

The Ugly - Issues
  • N/A

The Verdict - Opinion

Great product for a Beta!

Cost & Value: