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Google and Sun want Office users
October 4, 2005

Sun Microsystems chief executive Scott McNealy, left, and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt
Sun and Google are hoping for a flush fit
Google and Sun Microsystems have joined forces to challenge the dominance of Microsoft's Office software.

Google will offer Sun's OpenOffice software via its website, while people downloading Sun's Java program will get the option to take Google's toolbar.

Word processing and spreadsheet products are some of Microsoft's biggest sales generators, earning the company $11bn (6.3bn) last year.

Microsoft is feeling pressure as firms offer cheaper or free rival products.

Changing market

One of the biggest challenges facing Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, is convincing customers to pay for bundles of software like Office and Windows when they can find cheaper or free versions elsewhere.

Companies like Google and Sun, meanwhile, are looking to eat further and further into Microsoft's market share.

"Working with Google will make our technologies more available more broadly, increase options for users, lower barriers and expand participation worldwide," said Scott McNealy, Sun's chief executive officer.

Tuesday's deal may prove to be the first of many projects, the firms said.

Google and Sun's Java software "are two of the most widely recognized technology brands because they provide users with online tools that enhance their lives on a day to day basis", said Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive.

"We look forward to exploring other areas of collaboration."

Java software is needed to run a variety of Web applications


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