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Sun offers Linux OS
( 2003-12-29 09:50) (China Daily)

US software giant Sun Microsystems is so confident in the ability of its Linux operating system (OS) that it is offering a huge number of the software packages to the Chinese Government.

John Cage, chief researcher at Sun Microsystems Laboratories, said: "The development of Linux will achieve a great breakthrough next year, as IT giants have taken steps to China to boost the software's application and take on rival Microsoft's monopoly.''

Linux is a cheaper software standard OS that can be copied and modified freely, compared with Microsoft's Windows OS, which is based on proprietary programming.

One obvious challenge for Microsoft has been the view that Windows is too prone to virus and hacker attacks, Cage said.

Sun last month reached an agreement to install its Linux desktop software on more than 200 million computers in China.

Under the agreement, China Standard Software Co -- a consortium of companies supported by the Chinese Government -- will purchase Sun's Java Desktop System. Initially, Sun will roll out 500,000 to 1 million licenses by the end of next year, but that number will likely grow to more than 200 million.

Cage said the company is going to further tighten up its co-operation with Chinese software developers and research organizations and institutions.

In September, China, Japan and South Korea announced that they will work together to produce an open-source alternative to the Windows OS.

In fact, many experts hope the Chinese Government will take the lead by providing Linux-based applications with a solid launching pad.

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