DISA signs license for StarOffice suite

DISA signs license for StarOffice suite

BY MARK A. KELLNER | SPECIAL TO GCN

The Defense Information Systems Agency's new 25,000-seat license for Sun Microsystems StarOffice won't affect Defense Department use of Microsoft Office, a DISA spokeswoman said last week.

A Sun executive spun the deal as the first shot in a battle for federal PC desktops.
But the DISA spokeswoman demurred: 'The decision will have no effect on other DOD use of Microsoft Corp. or Lotus Development Corp. office suite products. There are no plans for [StarOffice's] use on Windows clients within DISA or other DOD units.'

The license means that StarOffice will replace Applixware Office, a suite renamed Anyware Office. StarOffice 5.2 will be installed on more than 10,000 Unix workstations at 600 DOD organizations worldwide.

'We evaluated StarOffice as best satisfying our requirement to operate an open office productivity suite globally on multiple platforms,' including Linux, Solaris and Windows, said Lt. Col. William C. Hoppe, chief engineer of DISA's Global Command and Control System.
Although the agency did not reveal specific costs, StarOffice's license is free versus a per-seat retail cost for Anyware Office of $49.95, listed on the www.vistasource.com Web site.

Sun also rises

Susan Grabau, Sun's product line manager for StarOffice, said the deal is the 'start of more momentum behind StarOffice.' She said Sun is anxious to sell the software to other agencies.

'Government is a very big customer for Sun hardware,' Grabau said. 'This deal allows customers to pick the right tool for what they need to do and live side-by-side in a Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office environment.'

Microsoft's Tom Bailey, lead product manager for Office XP, said the Windows suite is still king of the DOD hill.

'The U.S. Navy has recently made a commitment to re-up on Office and other Microsoft technologies to the tune of 360,000 desktops worldwide,' Bailey said. 'We still feel very good about our value proposition for Office at the federal level and the way government is migrating.'

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