GOOGLE, SUN PARTNERSHIP... MOVEMENT ON THE BATTLEFIELD
Definitely the troops and tanks are in formation. Google and Sun lining up together in preparation for their battle against Microsoft. This will be a very interesting battle to watch. Great article by CNet's Stephen Shankland:
Sun Microsystems and Google plan to announce a collaborative effort that some analysts speculate could elevate the profile of the OpenOffice.org and Java software packages.
Details won't emerge publicly until Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Sun CEO Scott McNealy take the stage on Tuesday at a news conference in Mountain View, Calif. But one strong possibility is a partnership that could help shift personal computing out of Microsoft's domain and into Google's.
The partners have complementary assets for such a task. Sun has the open-source OpenOffice.org software suite and its close relative, StarOffice. It has Java software, which is well suited for network-friendly applications that run on any Java-enabled PC.
As for Google, its products have become daily resources for a vast number of computer users, and it offers a growing suite of software. In addition, it has the ambition of becoming the company that supplies network-based applications.
A partnership with Sun that provided an office applications suite would round out that list--and dramatically increase the competition between Google and Microsoft, whose Office suite dominates the market for word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software.
"Google could deploy a version of Google Office at any time. The reason they haven't (is) they're not set up to serve enterprises with all the security and name recognition that Sun has," said Stephen Arnold, author of "The Google Legacy: How Google's Internet Search is Transforming Application Software." "That's a very obvious plus for Google," he said.
There already are close ties between the two companies, observed Caris & Co. analyst Mark Stahlman, who in the early 1990s heard talk at Sun about building the kind of network services that Google now is providing. Among the ties: Google CEO Schmidt was Sun's chief technology officer in the 1990s; John Doerr, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, is on the board of both companies; and Andy Bechtolsheim, a Sun co-founder who returned to the company to launch its Galaxy servers, wrote a check for $100,000 that helped get Google started. (full article)
UPDATE: CNET adds a bunch of other articles on this. Including an overview of buzz from the blogosphere where most people are saying "big deal." Om calls it a "Cheap Publicity Ploy."