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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Sony Corp's European information technology arm is the latest hardware vendor to move away from Microsoft Corp's office application suite, and has adopted Sun Microsystems Inc's StarOffice software for select PC models across Europe.

The Tokyo, Japan-based company has already adopted Corel Corp's WordPerfect 2002 suite for desktops in North America, and is now distributing StarOffice 6.0 instead of Microsoft's Works suite on select PCs in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Austria, France, Germany and the UK.

The deal follows a trend of PC hardware vendors moving away from bundling Microsoft's office software. In recent months Gateway Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Computer Corp have also adopted Ontario, Canada-based Corel's software rather than Microsoft's for select PCs and/or notebooks.

Santa Clara, California-based Sun has had less success so far in persuading major PC vendors to bundle StarOffice, although the company claims that it is in discussions with "every major PC vendor." The company claims to have been frustrated by PC vendors being afraid to upset Microsoft by replacing its software, and is also in discussions with major ISPs to set up distribution deals.

"We're up against the might of Microsoft forcing them to do something they don't want to," said Sun's business manager for SunONE Desktop Solutions, Mru Patel. "We need the users to demand lower costs."

© ComputerWire

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