I have used StarOffice over the past year on a Sun and found the experience to be disagreeable. It was buggy, had performance problems and made an effort to duplicate many things from Windows that were just irrelevant in the Unix world...
I'm hoping we'll see at least a good word processor one of these days. Nisus has announce they are doing one from the ground up in Cocao.
For people who really need Office compatibility there isn't much of a choice. Office is over-featured and overkill for what I do at work, but it does behave well with all of the documents that others pass me from their Wintel machines and gives me an excuse to have a Mac.
Something to look for if your company has a software agreement with Microsoft. Ours has a ridiculously cheap fee for Office and says nothing about the platform. I just got Office 2001 for the Mac under the license. Ask your MIS people to look carefully.
Sun has turned over the Mac OS X port of xxxxOffice to the community at www.OpenOffice.org. With this release, they also handed over the work they had already begun on the Mac OS X port.
...But there's still a lot of work to do. I encourage those who are able to begin participating in the porting project. No longer can we sit back and wait for people to bring us software. Now <em>we</em> are the people writing the software.
From what I have read about this release it is the core of the program code and does not have all the winblows interface components in it. I also read that it will not compile into a fully functional build because it lack much of the necessary components. We need to get several good coders on the project. I'm thinking of design some sort of interface for it in Interface Builder if I have time and submit it to be used for the OSX port.
I've used StarOffice on the Sun for the past year and am hopeful to
see what can come of this.
It's not perfect, but certain on the Sun, its better than having to
boot up a PC to read a darned Word doc. The spreadsheet I actually
like better than Excel (has more date functions), but the text doc
editor is not quite as strong as Word.
StarOffice and Open Office shares a great deal of code and formats, but it's not quite the same. For instance, the fake Windows isn't used in OpenOffice. I don't think all the database tools are included in OpenOffice, at least not the adadatabase.
the OpenOffice code is clean from fluffy windows-like implementations.
I've used the windows version of open office (beta) at work. I'm happy to say that now each programme seperate and there is no 'start' menu like star office. It's quite good, but even though you can save in MS format if you want, you loose some formatting if you open, change and re-save an MS document. It still needs work.
I'd hafta agree with vic, appleworks is not a super wordprocessor, its just a program the lets me write words, then print them out, and thats all i need to do. I dont need the computer to guess for me, at what im going to do next, like office does. I dont need to have my spelling checked in real time, and i dont need my grammar checked! I aint needed that since never! I dont need it to make lists for me. I dont need clippy stopping me from working as soon i start the program. I dont need my questions answered as soon as a start the program. I know windows software can be confusing, but that doesn't mean that i need new questions answered evertime i double click on an icon. If clippy was flammable, i'd douse him in gasoline.
Appleworks is simple, and it works. True to the spirt of Apple's design.