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Sun plans StarOffice 6.1 beta

Sun Microsystems plans to begin beta testing version 6.1 of its StarOffice suite of programs on March 3, according to a message posted on the company's Web site. StarOffice is a competitor to Microsoft Office and a derivative of the open-source OpenOffice project. A second beta testing is planned to begin July 7.

StarOffice is available for computers with the Solaris, Linux and Windows operating systems. Sun is seeking testers from small and medium-sized companies that will test business-specific features; programmers who will test a development kit; and general users.