From the “Somewhere in Redmond someone is reaching for a family-sized bottle of TUMS” department, Google and Sun announced they will be providing StarOffice for free as part of the Google Pack, a set of applications that Google makes available for free, including Picasa, Google Earth and a lot of other Google-branded and 3rd party applications to make the desktop experience more interesting.

I can just hear the blood pressure rising out there in Microsoft land, this is a move sure to increase the public awareness of Star/OpenOffice, and personally I don’t care which version you use, they’re part of the same tree.

Google also offers their lightweight suite of Office Apps, such as Documents, but those aren’t for disconnected use, or where people are much more used to or prefer to have applications locally.

Last but not least, Google is predicted to be producing interoperability tools for Star/OpenOffice and it’s online Office apps so that businesses and partners can easily share documents between the two suites.

Lastly, anything that threatens the Microsoft Office hegemony will decrease revenues and cause problems for the Borg (er, our partner), so watch for the arrival of Hurricane FUD-tina at a news source near you.

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