Sun Microsystems has denied that it is working with Apple on a StarOffice port, Macworld can reveal.

“We have no relationship with Apple to do a StarOffice port,” said Tony Siress, Sun's senior director of desktop marketing, further quelling recent reports claiming that Sun and Apple are to produce an OS X port of StarOffice.

Sun's software would become a direct competitor to Microsoft's Office v.X if it moved to Mac. The application is currently available for Windows, Solaris and Linux operating systems.

The reports were denied by Sun – but MacCentral reports maintained that the original story was an accurate reflection of what Sun had originally said.

Sun spokeswoman Marie Domingo told Macworld: “Development of the OS X port is being handled through the community, as announced on May 7, 2002.”

On Apple's connection to the work in hand, she explained: “Apple has supported as part of the Apple Developer Community Program, and continues to support and encourage all development on Mac OS X.”

An alpha version of OpenOffice for Mac OS X already exists, spearheaded by developers Ed Peterlin and Dan Williams. Last week Sun told these developers that it and Apple are not working to create an OS X version of OpenOffice by the year's end, or that it plans to follow that release in 2003 with a commercial version of StarOffice.

However, Sun is in ongoing talks with Apple to see “what it would take” to make a version of StarOffice with the look and feel of an Apple application, Siress said. "These talks are really little more than the same theoretical discussions that have been going on over the last couple of years," he revealed.

Domingo explains: “To date, there is no partnership in place between Sun and Apple to jointly develop an OS X version of StarOffice. At this time, Sun has no plans to port StarOffice for Mac OS X.”