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StarOffice can chart its own success

A News.com reader writes that StarOffice is no longer just chasing tail lights--it is chasing tail lights and breaking new ground.


StarOffice can chart its own success

In response to the Sept. 5 column by Chris LeTocq, "Is StarOffice ready to take on MS Office?":

LeTocq wrote: "If you keep aiming where Microsoft has already been, then your opportunities will be in China."

Two responses immediately spring to mind:

1. China has five times as many people as the United States. Plenty to go around. India has four times the United States' worth. There are more than 6 billion people in the world, and only a quarter-billion are Americans. Being limited to China instead of America is not a bad thing.

2. OpenOffice feeds back into StarOffice. StarOffice is no longer just chasing tail lights--it is chasing tail lights and breaking new ground. Tall order, but it seems to be possible.

Many North Americans seem to think that the world ends at the borders of the United States. Many North American-centric churches (such as the Seventh-day Adventists and the Mormons) now have more non-Caucasians in their population than Caucasians. In some cases, they have more of a single ethnic group (such as Spaniards or Islanders) than of all Caucasian members combined.

A steadily increasing number of the applications you use are written, at least in part, by Russians, Indians or Peruvians, including StarOffice and most other open-source tools and applications. Given LeTocq's surname, he should at least be aware of my favorite Linux distribution, which is assembled in France (I'm a Caucasian Australian), and English is no longer the first language for every application in it.

While Windows and Office have of course been sold outside the United States, they have often arrogantly trodden on toes (for example, Microsoft tried to buy and sink the only competing Korean word processing suite) and in some countries are widely regarded as a symbol of "American imperialist culture" so will never sell well.

Bottom line: StarOffice/OpenOffice is not dependent on Microsoft for success.

Leon Brooks
Perth, Western Australia