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Star Office was produced in the mid-'80s by Star Division, a German company which is now defunct. The rights to Star Office were purchased by Sun Microsystems in 1999.

StarOffice is now Sun Microsystems' commercial office suite. 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 3rd-party code modules and markets the package commercially.

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