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Consulting Times: StarSuite Begins Long Asian March

Dec 18, 2001, 10:29 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen E. Harris)
"StarSuite 6 appears to have set off on a long march to challenge Microsoft's Asian monopoly of office productivity applications. With the blessings of the Chinese government, Sun Microsystems established an Engineering and Research Institute in Beijing. It then signed a definitive Technology Licensing and Distribution Agreement with three leading Chinese software companies to bundle StarSuite (the Asian version of StarOffice) as part of their Linux offerings. The three companies are CS&S Network Technology Co., Ltd., Red Flag Software Co., Ltd. and Beijing Co-Create Open Source Software Co., Ltd. (Co-Soft).

These are interesting developments in a country where fewer than one in 10 city residents use legitimate software and audio-video products. But institutional users could be facing new pressures to go legit. According to the South China Morning Post, "all government departments were told to use legal software in the lead-up to China's entry into the World Trade Organization, and the National Copyright Administration said it would check corporate and government users of pirated software."

Crackdown or no, the Microsoft hordes are about as welcome in China as Genghis Khan, and there appears to be considerable interest in the open StarSuite/Linux alternative. ConsultingTimes caught up with our friend, Iyer Venkatesan, the StarOffice product manager, for further details on the deals."

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