Overview

An office suite is a package which contains all of the main functions needed within a typical office environment, usually including a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation package. More expensive office suites, or "professional" versions of them will also tend to include database managment software.

Star Office

StarOffice was developed by StarDivision during the 1980s, and includes StarWriter (word processor), StarCalc (spreadsheet), StarDraw (drawing module), StarBase (database), StarImpress (presentation package), StarSchedule (scheduler) and StarMail (integrated mail and chat system). It was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1999 and they released StarOffice 5.2, for Microsoft Windows, Linux and for Sun's own Solaris operating system, available at no license cost to the end user. Sun continue to develop StarOffice. StarOffice boasts complete compatibility with all the equivalent Microsoft Office packages.


Open Office

OpenOffice is an office suite which evolved throughout 2001, based on the StarOffice suite, developed by Sun Microsystems, though OpenOffice, as its name suggests, is open-source code. It incorporates a database module, as well as a spreadsheet, drawing tools and a word processor.


Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office originally came about as the general-purpose office suite not long after the advent of Windows 2.0, though some of the components (most notably Word and Excel) were available long before, as DOS-based packages.

Office now stands at version 10, also called Office 2002, or Office XP. Office XP includes Word (word processor), Excel (spreadsheet), Publisher (desktop-publisher), and Outlook (diary and email manager). The professional version also includes the Access database package and Frontpage, a package for building web sites.