Google Drops StarOffice from Pack; Firefox Next?

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Google Pack, a downloadable package of free Internet and productivity software for Windows users, has mysteriously dropped Sun’s StarOffice suite from its lineup, reports PC Pro. The pack, which includes a number of Google and third-party software programs, including Google Desktop, Firefox, Skype, and Norton Security Scan, previously included the Microsoft Office alternative StarOffice.

StarOffice, which is based on the open source OpenOffice.org program, also competes with Google’s own suite of online office applications, Google Docs. Is Google trying to push users toward its own suite of online office tools? Perhaps, though for now the Pack doesn’t appear to include any sort of desktop launcher for Google’s Docs applications (which do support offline access via the Gears plugin).

PC Pro thinks that Google may also be reacting to recent comments by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that pooh-poohed the threat from Google’s web apps recently, saying, “We have better competition today than Google Docs and Spreadsheets. We get more competition from OpenOffice and StarOffice, frankly.”

Though his company is finally planning to bring Office to the web — a clear sign that Microsoft is feeling some pressure from its Internet rival, Ballmer may be at least partially correct. We reported a few weeks ago that the numbers currently paint OpenOffice.org as a bigger competitor to Microsoft’s office application dominance than Google. However, the agility that Google has shown in upgrading and improving their office suite is something that may give Microsoft some pause, at least internally.

If pushing people toward their own suite of tools is what Google is playing it, we expect that there is a possibility that we’ll see Firefox dropped from the Google Pack eventually as well and replaced with Chrome (at least once that browser is out of beta). Google Chrome (recent coverage), remember, is built specifically for running web applications, so it would make sense for Google to push people toward running their web app suite in their own browser.

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  • http://www.magain.com/ mattymcg

    Good call Josh, I think this is inevitable.

  • calande

    They already dumped Trillian a while ago because it became a competitor to GTalk…

  • trajj

    Could it also have something to do with the Sun/Microsoft deal that was announced a day or two ago?

  • Anonymous

    I love Chrome,, if it had the flexibility and add on extensions of Firefox, it’s a no Brainer.

  • Jone Jones

    Aint no tellin when it comes to Google.

    jess
    http://www.anolite.echoz.com

  • Mitsu

    I just read somehwere (think it was digg) that MS is now intergrating their msn toolbar and search facilities into Sun Java download. My guess would be that Sun had this up their sleaves just in case google decided to drop star office from the google pack.

    Article is.. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-TEC-Microsoft-Sun.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

  • Eezyy.Net

    I like google’s products. I like firefox too. At the moment, I don’t think these two are replacable with each other. Frankly, Chrome is more compatible with some sites that are exclusively designed for IE.

    eezyynet
    http://www.eezyy.net

  • Devnet.com.au

    Devnet provides Google Apps Premier Edition within the asia-pacific region, this includes Australia & New Zealand. We are amazed how many people prefer Google Apps over Microsoft Office. The benefits of moving away from Microsoft Exchange are saving thousands for companies.

    Google Apps Partners

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t Openoffice.org based on Star Office, not the other way around?