I would just say that for a long time I have been impatient with the Microsoft knockers as I believe MS has actually done the PC world a service by establishing de facto standards which have enabled the industry to develop at the rate it has. There have been few examples of conflicting formats - unlike the CD/DVD/HiFi industries - and this would not have occurred with the dominant role of MS.
MS simply followed in IBM's footsteps but unlike IBM they have been able to foster and adapt to the changing needs of users.
Having said all that I would agree that this dominant position has enabled them to maximise their returns, ie exploit their advantage, and keep prices high. However, they don't have a monopoly and the Sun Star Office suite does seem to offer genuine competition to MS Office by providing what the average user wants - not necessarily corporate needs - at sensible prices.
Whether I get to take part in the challenge or not I shall definitely be looking out for its findings and be guided by them when I next upgrade.
The StarOffice project is totally kosher. It is not a marketing stunt. We contacted our most regular visitors inviting participation in the project and have allocated involvement on a first come first served basis.
The results will be written up as a feature for the July (cover) issue of the magazine - on the shelves at the end of May.
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