"After years of watching Microsoft Corp consolidate its power, a
band of software rivals is trying to build a beachhead in desktop
"Their chief weapon is the Linux operating system, which is
popular in back-office computers called servers yet has generally
flopped in personal computers. But a combination of technology
improvements, economic pressures and a change in Microsoft's
pricing is increasing the appeal of Linux-based PCs in some
business settings, such as customer-service centres, stores and
"In the biggest development, Microsoft arch-rival Sun
Microsystems Inc next week plans to announce its first fully
fledged commitment to Linux on desktop PCs. The computer maker,
whose server business has been hurt by low-end systems running
Microsoft Windows, is determined to counterattack by cutting into
Microsoft's franchise in desktop-PC software..."
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