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Sun smells suite success

Dutch flock to SorryGates.com for free StarOffice

Long-time Microsoft rival Sun Microsystems is crowing about how many people have been downloading its office suite of programs after the Redmond Monster announced it would change its licensing agreements.

Over a two-week period Dutch computer users ordered over 10,000 copies of Sun's free StarOffice 5.2 on CD, according to one of the company's distributors. The software could be ordered from a special website, SorryGates.com, set up by Tplc Nederland.

Sun started the project in late June and it's been so successful that the CDs ran out, according to Christiaan van Nispen tot Sevenaar, spokesman for Tplc Nederland. Sun is unapologetic about trading in on Microsoft's bad press, reasoning PC users are unlikely to pass on the chance to get free software.

The free software campaign was triggered by Microsoft's plan to revamp its licensing policies. New policies could significantly increase costs for some companies using Microsoft software, according to many experts.

StarOffice has long been available for free download from Sun's website. The offer to mail a CD was added for this special offer.

Sun is no doubt smarting, however, after the US Department of Justice's decision not to split up Microsoft, something for which Sun has been pushing for years.


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