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"The No. 1 Linux Desktop Play on the Planet" - Sun Hits Chinese Jackpot

"The No. 1 Linux Desktop Play on the Planet" - Sun Hits Chinese Jackpot

One of the undisputed high points of yesterday's keynote address by Sun supremo Scott McNealy at COMDEX 2003 was the announcement that Sun has finalized a deal with "The China Standard Software Co." - a consortium of government-funded companies - to deploy Linux-based desktops as part of China's deliberate policy to diversify away from Microsoft.

As a "preferred technology partner," Sun's Java Desktop System - formerly known as Project Mad Hatter - will find its way to (McNealy's figure) "half a million to a million" desktops in the coming year.

"That makes us immediately the no. 1 desktop Linux play on the planet," he said, proudly and not a little defiantly considering that this deal comes largely at the expense of Redmond.

Plus it was just a drop in the ocean compared to what lay ahead, McNealy hinted.

"China has goal of 500 million 'alternative' desktops," he noted - 'alternative' here being the code-word for non-Microsoft, he implied.

And after China, who knows how many other national governments might want to switch to the Java Desktop? McNealy hinted that Sun was going to stop at nothing to take the JDS to the world. Referring to the China deal he said: "But that’s not the only one. We’re calling on every Ministry of IT on the planet. Stay tuned!"

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SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

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