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EETimes: StarPortal will let users beam up office apps on a cell phone-Sun's network-services model

Sep 06, 1999, 19:40 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Margaret Quan)

"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 networks.

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."

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