"Sun intends to combine its own software such as StarOffice with
the free open-source operating system Linux to offer business-users
a cost-effective alternative to Microsoft Office, which recently
became more expensive. It is also likely that Sun will expand its
Linux server offering to compete with Microsoft.
"Sun is promising 'high-impact announcements' when it hosts its
annual network event for 3,000 customers, developers and partners
in San Francisco from 18 to 20 September. A source close to the
company claimed that planned new product announcements will be
aimed at Microsoft and will involve combining Sun with Linux.
"'Linux is produced by small companies such as Red Hat,' said a
Sun spokesman. 'What has been holding back its widespread adoption
by business is the feared lack of good-quality worldwide support.
They do not want to find that in emergencies they are only served
by a 1-800 [freephone] number on the West Coast. Sun will offer
soup-to-nuts support for companies using Linux...'