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PC Week: With StarOffice, Sun aims at a big, but hard, target

Sep 01, 1999, 19:09 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Coffee)

"At Tuesday's New York press conference announcing Sun Microsystems' acquisition of Star Division and its StarOffice productivity suite, Sun CEO Scott McNealy sought to redraw the playing field of desktop computing with one short sentence. "What used to be industries," McNealy proclaimed, "are becoming features."

"The absorption of an entire business into one bullet point on a feature list is old news for makers of PC utility software. With each successive generation of DOS, then of Windows, another ingenious maker of an invaluable product found itself either acquired (if lucky) or made redundant (far more often) as baseline operating environments offered growing arrays of safety features and creature comforts..."

"But Sun gives a strong push to Linux, and even a helping hand to OS/2, with its immediate promise of continued free availability of a capable software suite that doesn't act as a Windows compatibility test. And Sun extends Microsoft's own Office 2000 initiatives (notably Web-based collaboration and streamlined administration) with its future promise to offer portal-based office suite services via the Web."

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