Wired: Star(Office) Wars Brewing?

“Sun’s move to offer free Internet versions of office programs,
such as word processing and spreadsheets, could chip away at
Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop software market, analysts said

“Analysts said Sun’s move could trigger a sea change in the
software industry, with more applications and data being based on
the Internet, and managed by Internet service providers — much
like electronic mail is now handled.”

“Scott McNealy, Sun’s CEO, downplayed the threat to Microsoft…
Still, company executives pointed to the competitive advantages of
the free StarOffice software, which has a look and feel that is
similar to Microsoft’s Office suite. Microsoft Office currently
costs from US$400 to $700.”

“Analysts said they expected the move to erode Microsoft’s
customer base, especially new users
, rather than cause an
immediate upheaval in the industry.”