US Computing Giant Sun Microsystems Last Week Drop-Ped a Bombshell on the PC Industry, Announcing a Low-Cost Alternative to Microsoft Desktop Software Based on a Free Linux Open-Source Operating System, a Move Exclusively Predicted by the Business Two Weeks Ago
US computing giant Sun Microsystems last week drop-ped a bombshell on the PC industry, announcing a low-cost alternative to Microsoft desktop software based on a free Linux open-source operating system, a move exclusively predicted by The Business two weeks ago.
This raises the question of how long Microsoft will be able to continue to dominate business computing with its software and whether Linux-based low-cost alternatives such as Suns will force the worlds biggest company to rethink its entire strategy.
Suns desktop software will cost only a fraction of what Microsoft currently charges. For example, Star Office costs only u50 (E80), as opposed to the retail price tag of more than u500 (E800) for Microsoft Office Professional.
According to Sun, an organisation the size of the UK government could save itself more than u1bn (E1.6bn) over five years in Microsoft licensing fees alone if it moved 80% of its PCs to the new low-cost software. Sun claims the savings could be several times greater for any company that also considers using Suns hardware alternative to a traditional Wintel (Windows/Intel) PC, also unveiled last week in San Francisco.
Sun is bundling together off-the-shelf hardware with open-source software that uses far less computing power than Windows to deliver what it claims will be a direct alternative to a traditional Micro-soft Windows PC with the added plus of military-grade security.
Suns initial focus will be on business users in cost- and security- sensitive areas such as call-centres, retail banks and classrooms.
Sun chief executive, Scott Mc-Nealy, has been planning this assault on Microsoft for years and has long argued that traditional PCs are ohairballso: wasteful of computing power, insecure and expensive to maintain and run. …