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Indian Insurance Company Signs Up for StarOffice for 10,000 Users

The United India Insurance Company picked StarOffice 7 on Windows over Microsoft Office. Sun also said it plans a full Java Desktop System for Solaris x86 later this year.
Sun Microsystems announced Wednesday a major customer in India for its StarOffice 7 office suite running on Windows and said StarOffice 7 for Solaris x86 will be available this week. The company also said it will offer a full Java Desktop System for Solaris x86 later this year.

As first reported by CRN, the Java giant confirmed Wednesday that it had signed a 10,000-seat deal for StarOffice 7 with the United India Insurance Company (UIIC), beating out rival Microsoft Office.

The company will migrate those users from older versions of Office 95 and Office 97 to StarOffice 7 on Windows, a Sun spokeswoman said. UIIC expects to deploy StarOffice software to most of its 1,126 officers around the country during the first quarter of 2004, Sun said.

As part of the deployment, Sun is working with iForce partner Accel ICIM Systems & Services in India. Accel will provide system integration services, round-the-clock support for 24 offices and deliver software upgrades and updates for four years, Sun said.

Sun, Santa Clara, Calif., also named three other Indian commercial companies--Onesource, National Fertilisers and Apnaloan.com--that are using StarOffice.

Meanwhile, research firm IDC places Sun's Solaris with less than 1 percent of desktop OS market share in 2002 and expects that share declined in 2003. Despite that, one Sun iForce partner insisted that Sun's Java-based desktop OS initiatives will have broad appeal to Unix and Intel server customers.

"They don't know what they're talking about," said Douglas Nassaur, president and CEO of True North Technology, Alpharetta, Ga., referring to the market-research reports. "The majority of people working in the engine rooms of companies are sick and tired of Microsoft on the desktop and hearing about Linux taking over the world. If they can get to one OS across 32-bit and 64-bit, and use one OS for client and server, they'll do it."

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