Google and Sun have joined together in a much hyped, but little substance deal. Google will use Sun hardware and Sun will market Google’s desktop search application. There’s really nothing special about this deal until you consider that Sun makes StarOffice, an open source based competitor to Microsoft Office. You should also checkout OpenOffice, an open source and free application based on StarOffice.
Google continues to push out applications that users can use over the Internet and this Google and Sun alliance could be the start of something much bigger than what it is now.
Instead of clicking “Start” and then opening up Word, soon you might go to http://office.google.com or something to fire up your database, spreadsheet or other office application.
Business Week writes A Google-Sun alliance, if it flowers, could take advantage of new technology for running applications on the Web, one that eliminates the sluggishness and limited functions of traditional Web-based programs. The most widely used approach is based on an industry standard called Ajax, and a second method uses Macromedia Flash.
Either can produce programs that look and feel like the desktop ones running on your hard drive. Screens redraw nearly instantly, and you can use the mouse to drag and drop text or other objects. Yahoo! (YHOO), EarthLink (ELNK), and Microsoft’s Hotmail are testing mail services that, in speed and responsiveness, behave more like Outlook than like clunky Web mail. Google Maps is also a showcase for this technology.
The key to any Google applications package could be Sun’s StarOffice, a desktop-productivity suite that matches Microsoft Office program for program. StarOffice costs $75 for Windows or Linux, or you can download a similar package for free from OpenOffice.org.
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