February 4, 2004

Sun beats out MS for big India contract

Author: Chris Preimesberger

Sun Microsystems may be on a roll regarding sales in the Far East. Following the November news that it will supply up to 200 million Java/Linux desktop systems over a period of years to the Republic of China, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based corporation today announced a 10,000-seat sale of its StarOffice 7 software to the United India Insurance Co.

The insurance conglomerate chose StarOffice over -- you guessed it -- re-upping its contract with Microsoft for its Office XP suite.

United India Insurance Co. is one of the four subsidiaries of General Insurance Corp., and has its headquarters in Chennai. It is the second-largest insurer by size of premium and market share of the entire general insurance business transacted throughout India.

United India has countrywide presence with 21,565 employees working in 1,123 offices.

"We selected Sun's StarOffice 7 software because it matches our technical
specifications and it is very competitively priced," said S.M. John Victor, assistant general manager, Information Technology, UIIC, Limited Chennai India.

Sun on Wednesday also announced the general availability of StarOffice on Solaris x86, which the company has been giving away free of charge since October.
The announcement is significant because it is the first indication Sun has given that it will have its Java Desktop System available for Solaris x86 later this year. StarOffice 7 is the main business application suite included in the JDS.

Today, applications such as Mozilla 1.6, incorporating the Firebird Web browser, Thunderbird e-mail and newsgroup client, Macromedia Flash and now StarOffice 7, are
supported on Solaris. Additionally, there are more than
100 desktops and laptops listed on the Solaris x86 hardware compatibility

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