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NY Times: With Acquisition, Sun Takes Aim at Microsoft

Sun Microsystems Inc. is planning an ambitious campaign to
move everyday software applications like word processing and
spreadsheets away from the personal computer desktop and onto the
World Wide Web — a strategy that amounts to a direct assault on
Microsoft’s biggest business…

“Star Office has received favorable reviews in the trade press,
and it has a devoted following among users of the Linux operating
system, the only market where Star’s productivity suite is No. 1.
Still, the Star Office product has yet to move beyond niche
status.”

“But at a New York news conference today, Sun is to lay out its
plan to try to catapult Star Office into the mainstream of computer
software. The company, according to Sun executives, will allow
anyone to download Star Office over the Internet free. More
significantly, Sun intends to transform the product from software
that resides on the hard disk of a PC or work station into a
Web-based application that a user with Internet access can tap into
from an emerging array of devices other than PC’s, like hand-held
computers and cellular telephones with screens.”

“In Silicon Valley, there is no greater focal point of
programming talent and venture investment than the new field of
Web-based applications…”

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