Sun Microsystems is giving its StarOffice software away to nonprofit groups worldwide, the company said on its Web site. A charity called Gifts In Kind International will distribute the software, a direct competitor to Microsoft Office, to qualified nonprofit groups and nongovernmental organizations, Sun said on its Web site.
Through the program so far, the software will be used in Zambia, Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka, Sun said. It will be available to nonprofit groups and NGOs with work in education, job training, opportunities for young people, maternal and child health, adult literacy and other community services.
The move dovetails with Sun's $50 million "Share" campaign, which among other things highlight's Sun's work with open-source software and its attempts to bridge the digital divide.
Sun argues that using StarOffice for free will save organizations money. However, those organization also have the choice of OpenOffice, a close cousin to StarOffice that Sun already made free when it released the product as open-source software in 2000.