In what looks like a direct jab at Microsoft, Google has added Sun Microsystems' office productivity suite Star Office to their free bundle of PC software called Google Pack. TechWeb reports:
StarOffice includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, and database applications, along with a library of images and 3D effects. Normally available for $70, StarOffice is free with Google Pack.
Star Office is the basis for the free and open source OpenOffice.org application suite. Unlike OpenOffice.org, Star Office requires the Java runtime to use. So why would GOOG choose Star Office over Open Office for the Pack? Beats us, but since launch (and even through an iteration) a couple of their app choices left us shaking our heads, like Adobe Reader and RealPlayer. (With the exception of Firefox, they seem to be open source-phobic.) Other Google Pack choices include Google Earth, Google Toolbar for IE, Spyware Doctor, Google Desktop, Picasa, Firefox with the Google toolbar, a (neat) Google Photos screensaver, Google Talk, and Skype. Happily you can choose which apps you want before you download.