Sun Microsystems released StarOffice 9 last week, the new version of its office suite based on OpenOffice.org.
The update to StarOffice comes just over a month after the October 13 release of the free OpenOffice.org 3.0 suite. Like the new version of OpenOffice, major additions to the new StarOffice release include native Macintosh support and the ability to open files created in Microsoft Office 2007 formats such as docx and xlsx files.

One of Sun’s major selling points for StarOffice is its price tag compared to Microsoft Office’s—Office comes in many varieties, with a boxed copy of Office 2007 Professional going for just under $400 on Amazon.com right now. StarOffice is available as a download for $34.95. Sun’s StarOffice FAQ page says a boxed copy is available, but it doesn’t seem to be so at this time. Of course, volume licensing can affect all of those prices.

So what do you get with StarOffice that you don’t get with the free OpenOffice suite? According to Sun’s StarOffice site, some extensions are included with StarOffice that you have to install separately with OpenOffice, but the major difference is the warranty and support Sun provides with StarOffice.