Google is probably paying primarily for Google search features added to the version of StarOffice they're distributing. I don't think this is going to have any discernible impact on Office market share, in any case.
Rich Green, Sun's executive vice president in charge of software, said Google is paying Sun to distribute StarOffice, but declined to specify how much. Sun ordinarily charges $79 for StarOffice, for a version that comes with technical support and free updates.
Google's move elevates a battle over rival formats used to encode documents like spreadsheets and word-processing files that are created in suites of programs, such as StarOffice and Microsoft Office. The combatants include Microsoft and a group called the OpenDocument Format Alliance, whose members include Sun, Google and International Business Machines Corp.