StarOffice is Sun Microsystems's commercial office suite software package. It was originally started in the mid-1980s by Star Division, a German company, founded by Marco Boerries. The company and the rights to StarOffice were acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1999.
While Sun's version of StarOffice was freely available for personal use, Sun went through a similar exercise to Netscape's release of Mozilla by open-sourcing portions of the StarOffice code-base. The resultant open-source codebase is developed as OpenOffice.org, and it is contributed to by both Sun and the open source community. Sun then uses a "snapshot" of the OpenOffice code base as the basis for future releases of StarOffice. Sun then integrates proprietary and third-party code modules and markets the package commercially.
Traditionally, StarOffice licenses have been sold for around 70 USD, but in 2004, Sun planned to offer subscription-based licenses to Japanese customers for about 1,980 JPY (19 USD) per year (Becker, 2004). P. Ulander, a desktop products manager for Sun, acknowledged that Sun planned to expand subscription-based licenses to other countries, as well.