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InfoWorld: McNealy defends free software model

Sep 15, 1999, 01:08 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Terho Uimonen)

"In the past week and a half, more than 250,000 people have downloaded the StarOffice productivity software suite Sun Microsystems has started giving away at its Web site, the company's chief executive officer said Tuesday. 'People are just going to our Web site and downloading it like crazy,' claimed Scott McNealy, Sun's chairman and chief executive officer, in a speech via satellite from California, here at International Data Corp.'s (IDC's) European IT Forum."

" 'After so many years of Microsoft doing the same to companies such as [database vendor] Oracle, Sun is now trying to suck the oxygen out of Microsoft,' said Frank Gens, senior vice president for Internet research at IDC. Although enterprise users are unlikely to abandon Office for Sun's free offering, on the consumer side the move may lead to lower revenues for the software giant, Gens added."

"Microsoft, however, does not believe that giving away software for free is a viable business practice, said Bernard Vergnes, chairman of Microsoft Europe... Earlier, during his speech titled 'Changing the World Through Software,' Vergnes painted a picture of how Microsoft plans to develop new software products -- and derive significant revenues from them -- to create a more efficient office environment."

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