What a difference a year makes. Was it really only in August 2007 that Google added the Sun developed StarOffice suite to the Google Pack software collection? Yes, it was. Back then Google was happy to have a $70 value package available for free to Google Pack downloaders. Things, apparently, have changed.

Exactly what, it has to be said, is unclear. However, look at the Google Pack page where you can choose which items are to be downloaded today and you might notice that StarOffice is no longer on the list.

You can still download Google Earth, Google Toolbar for IE, Norton Security Scan, Spyware Doctor, Google Desktop, Picasa, Firefox with Google, Google Photos Screensaver, Adobe Reader, Google Talk, Skype and RealPlayer. But StarOffice has fallen off the menu, and Google has apparently made no official announcement as to why this may be.

I searched the Google Pack help files for a clue, and the only thing I could find was a discussion thread where a user noted that StarOffice had stopped being tracked by Google Updater and had vanished from the Google Pack site. Said user suggested this might be a temporary thing until StarOffice 9 is released into the mix on November 19th. No reply from Google though, and still no official announcement or reply to a request for comment.

To be honest, the dropping of StarOffice is no great loss. Not that I do not like it, but rather quite simply because you can get pretty much the same software (albeit without the clip-art and templates stuff) for free anyway in the shape of OpenOffice.org

Conspiracy theories, anyone?