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Sun Microsystems has outmanoeuvred Microsoft with a StarOffice win in the Indian state of Haryana.

The Haryana government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sun to use StarOffice 7 across all state departments. This marks a major deal for Sun and open source software in India and adds to a trend of governments looking to use free software instead of Microsoft's products.

"We are extremely pleased to enter into this agreement with Sun Microsystems," said Dr Harbaksh Singh, the commissioner and secretary to the government of Haryana's electronics and IT department. "The MOU marks a landmark agreement for us in our efforts to drive IT adoption in the state. This deal with Sun will enable the government of Haryana to significantly ramp up desktop penetration within its departments, as the cost of installing desktops are expected to come down dramatically."

StarOffice is Sun's version of the open source OpenOffice productivity suite designed to compete against Microsoft Office. StarOffice runs on Windows, Linux and Solaris and is priced at between $25 and $50 per user for government customers.

Last month, Sun won a deal with United India Insurance for 10,000 StarOffice licenses. In addition, government bodies in the UK, Germany, Brazil and parts of Asia have been on an open source software tear, looking at software such as StarOffice and also the Linux operating system. ®

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