"A new initiative from Sun Microsystems Inc., StarPortal, will
provide office software tools to a system-eventually even a PDA or
cell phone-via any Web browser, in the latest twist on Sun's
anywhere-anytime computing strategy.
The move shifts Sun to a network-services model, wherein
software products are outsourced by Internet service providers. Sun
said it expects the program to drive the sale of servers to ISPs
and to corporations that host the applications on their
Sun and Star said they will develop a Web version that combines
a Java-based client with the software to enable browser access, so
that users can access their office desktop from any browser. An
early version will be available this fall and a final version next
spring. In addition, Sun will develop a component model of
StarPortal that will enable software developers to integrate
StarPortal functionality within their Web service products."
"StarOffice tools, which have a simple user interface and work
with Microsoft Office applications, run on Linux, Windows, Solaris
and OS/2 platforms. The suite ranks second in market share in
Europe and first in the Linux community."
"StarPortal is being positioned for a future in which
computing is device-independent, location-independent and
Internet-based. Sun plans to enhance StarPortal to interact
with its Java and Jini technologies. ... StarPortal hoists Sun into
a market it has avoided-office productivity tools-and pits it
against Microsoft Office."