PC Week: Microsoft crafts an answer to Sun’s Star Division buy

Former SGI CEO Richard Belluzzo — who as of Thursday
became Microsoft Corp.’s group vice president of its Consumer and
Commerce Group — has his work cut out for him.

“Besides fixing a division that Microsoft officials characterize
as being beset by a disproportionate share of “fits and starts,”
Belluzzo will be charged with helping Microsoft chart a hosting
strategy for its applications, especially Microsoft Office.”

“During a conference call to acknowledge Belluzzo’s appointment
on Thursday, Microsoft President Steve Ballmer told reporters and
analysts that Microsoft will definitely have an answer to Sun
Microsystems Inc.’s acquisition this week of Star Division Corp.’s
StarOffice suite. Sun already is making StarOffice available for
download from its Web site and will enable users to rent the
desktop software via its StarPortal service.”

“We will have Web-based Office productivity services. Full stop,
yes,” Ballmer said, in response to a question on Microsoft’s
intentions in the hosting arena. But Ballmer declined to provide a
timetable for providing these services.”