Back in 2005, there was a lot of hype about a joint partnership between Google and Sun that turned out to be a big load of nothing
. While there had been expectations that the companies would partner up to push Sun's StarOffice (an office suite based on OpenOffice), the announcement turned out to be nothing of the sort. As for StarOffice, they did mention that they might do something with it down the road, but that there hadn't been much thought put into it. Well, two years later, we're getting our answer. StarOffice is now available for free
as part of Google Pack. Still, it seems unlikely that the move will do much to boost StarOffice. In the two years since the initial announcement, there's been a surge of interest in web-based applications, which will remain Google's priority
. If there was ever a time for another offline office suite to steal significant share away from Microsoft, it would seem that time has passed.