WinInfo Daily UPDATE, December 4, 2003

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1. In the News
- Sun Lowers Price of Windows Desktop Competitor
- Microsoft Opens Intellectual Property for Licensing

2. Announcements
- New--Microsoft Security Road Show!
- Order Windows & .NET Magazine and the Article Archive CD at One Low Rate!

3. Event
- Receive a Free Identity Management White Paper!

4. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Sun Lowers Price of Windows Desktop Competitor
This week, Sun Microsystems slashed the prices of its just-released Linux-based Java Desktop System and Java Enterprise System, hoping to make the new software a more compelling Windows alternative for corporations. The Java Desktop System runs Linux, the Ximian Desktop, and Sun StarOffice, a solution Sun says is ready to take on Windows and Microsoft Office. Individual Java Desktop System setups will cost just $25, Sun says, and the full Java Enterprise System, which adds portal, Instant Messaging (IM), email, and directory services, will be slashed to half price--or $50 per seat--through mid-2004.
"More than two decades ago, Sun Microsystems developed its first workstation for institutions of higher learning," Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of Sun's Software Division, said. "Today, Sun is as committed as it was on day one to partnering with universities and research institutions to deliver the highest-quality technology. The solution best suited for the academic environment is Sun's Java Desktop System. It gives universities the opportunity to continue pushing the envelope in research. Sun will also offer a very aggressive pricing model just for the education market, just in time for the holidays."
Sun cites countries such as China, India, and Vietnam, which have moved to open-source-based desktop systems for cost reasons, as justification for creating its Java Desktop System, noting an IDC prediction that Linux unit shipments will grow from 3.4 million in 2002 to 10.4 million by 2007. Also, the company has signed an agreement with the China Standard Software Company (CSSC), a consortium of companies that the Chinese government supports, to use the Java Desktop System on as many as one million desktops by the end of 2004. This agreement is crucial in a country that will soon emerge as a massive new opportunity for PC and software makers.

Microsoft Opens Intellectual Property for Licensing
Microsoft announced yesterday that the company will start licensing some of its intellectual property, opening up its library of patents and copyrights to third parties for the first time. The move is designed to offset Microsoft's massive number of patent-dispute lawsuits and quell the fears of US and European regulators that the company isn't acting responsibly toward its partners and competitors and is, instead, a predatory monopolist out to own the largest possible slice of the IT market. Since Microsoft settled its antitrust case with the US government, competitors have constantly argued to authorities that the company hasn't changed its ways.
"A general theme \[of these complaints\] has been that they would like to see Microsoft share more technology," Brad Smith, a Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel, said. "This is a step that will enhance and promote interoperability. This is the kind of step that will result in greater consumer choice."
Although full details of the intellectual property licensing policy are currently unknown, Microsoft did reveal that some technologies, such as those surrounding Web services, will be licensed royalty-free. Others, such as the licenses for the FAT file system (still useful for portable storage devices such as those used in digital cameras) and ClearType screen-reading technology will come with "negotiable" royalties. The company noted that Agfa Monotype has already licensed ClearType, and storage maker Lexar Media has licensed the FAT file system.

==== 2. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

New--Microsoft Security Road Show!
Join industry guru Mark Minasi on this exciting 20-city tour and learn more about tips to secure your Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 network. There is no charge for this event, but space is limited, so register today! Sign up now for our December events.

Order Windows & .NET Magazine and the Article Archive CD at One Low Rate!
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==== 3. Event ====
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4. ==== CONTACT US ====

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