What we know about Oracle Cloud Office, OpenOffice.org

Product announcements have raised questions Oracle and OpenOffice.org don't want to answer. Here's what we know.

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6. How will OpenOffice.org fare in the enterprise market?

OpenOffice.org has had bipolar adoption: consumers and small-to-medium-size businesses on one end, and large government and educational institutions on the other.

Oracle says it's going to fill in the missing middle. "We're going to focus on enterprise customers. We're going to build integrations between business intelligence and OpenOffice, and our content-management solutions and OpenOffice," Screven said.

That's a strategy, however, that both IBM (Lotus Symphony and Lotus Notes) and Microsoft (Office and SharePoint) are already pursuing. "Oracle is joining the crowd here," Creese said.

Creese said he thinks Oracle could distinguish itself instead by making OpenOffice.org more adept at Web-based collaborative authoring.

7. What happens to StarOffice?

StarOffice was the original app that Sun open-sourced after buying it in 2000. Virtually identical to OpenOffice.org, the main difference is the price — $34.95, which gives users access to customer support.

But free is free, and as a result, OpenOffice.org is far more popular than StarOffice today.

Though it still appears on the Web site, the StarOffice name may be set for quiet retirement by Oracle. Oracle executives last week did not mention StarOffice by name once. Meanwhile, Screven mentioned a "community edition of OpenOffice.org."

That seems to hint that Oracle will rename the paid, supported StarOffice to OpenOffice.org, and rename the free version — today just called Openoffice.org — to something like OpenOffice.org Community Edition.

Eric Lai covers Windows and Linux, desktop applications, databases and business intelligence for Computerworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @ericylai or subscribe to Eric's RSS feed . His e-mail address is elai@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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