Sun, Lindows.com Strike Deal

Proving the motto “My enemy’s enemy is my friend,” Microsoft
foes Sun Microsystems and Lindows.com
announced an alliance to put Sun’s StarOffice software on Lindows.com’s
operating system.

The deal will make StarOffice 6.0, an alternative to Microsoft’s Office
suite, the first commercial application available to run on LindowsOS, a
nascent Windows rival that combines a Linux OS and compatibility with
Microsoft programs.

StarOffice, which debuted two
months ago
, will be made available through Lindows.com’s “Click N’ Run
Warehouse,” an online supply closet of hundreds of applications that allows
LindowsOS users to customize their OS.


Downloading StarOffice, which Sun priced at $75.99 when it debuted in May,
will not cost LindowsOS users more on top of the Lindows.com $99 membership
fee. The basic version of Microsoft Office retails for $479.

“We find the Click-N-Run concept extremely innovative, and Sun is proud to
now be part of the LindowsOS warehouse,” said Mike Rogers, Sun’s vice
president and general manager for desktop and StarOffice products, in a
statement. “Customers are increasingly looking for a cost-effective desktop
productivity alternative that is complete, easy to use, and compatible with
their Microsoft Office file formats.”

StarOffice works very similarly to Office, allowing users to create
documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the Linux, Solaris and Windows
platforms. The suite uses an open Extensible Markup Language-based file
format as its default, enabling anyone the ability to use widely available
tools to open, modify, and share StarOffice content — including some with
Microsoft’s Office import and export filters.

StarOffice is not an imminent major threat to the dominance of Office, which
has been on the market for nearly two decades and boasts about 250 million
people use on Windows, yet analysts say StarOffice could capture about 10
percent of the market. Many Microsoft customers have grumbled about the
software giant’s new software-licensing plan, which is slated to go into
effect at the end of the month.

Lindows.com plans to ship its LindowsOS later this year, aiming to capture
customers who like the flexibility along with the capabilities of Windows
programs. The company hopes to steal market share with a $99 price tag. The
LindowsOS is currently available in a
preview version
.

Last month, Lindows.com struck a
deal
with Microtel Computer Systems to make low-cost computers with
LindowsOS pre-installed.

Lindows.com’s founder, Michael Robertson of MP3.com renown, has been a vocal
Microsoft critic, comparing Microsoft products to an old pair sneakers that
aren’t thrown away out of sheer laziness.

The company has fought a trademark case against Microsoft, which accuses it
of unfairly appropriating a derivation of Microsoft’s “Windows” trademark.
In the most recent ruling, a judge

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