Page Two

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-11-17 Print this article Print

"There is also a big digital divide between the western parts of China and the eastern parts, which include Beijing and Shanghai, which is a lot more technology savvy than on the west," he said. The Chinese government itself has a large initiative to bridge that divide by building up infrastructure and delivering Linux-based solutions to many of its citizens, Sasaki said, adding that the good news for Sun is that it will now work with the Chinese government to deliver an open, standards-based desktop environment.
Sasaki declined to give specific details of the agreement between Sun and the Chinese governmental agencies, but he did say it "is a revenue generating opportunity for Sun. It is not a giveaway, it is for revenue, but I cannot tell you the price as this is confidential.
"But we do have a typical volume pricing deal that is structured, and there are some significant numbers in that agreement. The key thing about this partnership is that they will also have a significant number of engineers to add value to the project for the Chinese market specifically. Its not just about them shipping our code as is, but we are partnering with them to add more value to the entire stack," he said. Suns Schwartz said last week that "per citizen" pricing could see the price of that desktop solution plummet as low as $10 a user, depending on the volume. "Those places with structural impediments to spending large amounts of money on IT are the target market and offer a huge opportunity for Sun," he said. Sun will be holding a press conference in Beijing the last week of November with officials from the two Chinese ministries as well as with ones from China Standard Software, Sasaki said. Microsoft is also vying with Sun and others for lucrative foreign government contracts. In February, the Chinese government signed up for Microsofts recently announced Government Security Program, which gives it access to Windows source code and prescriptive guidance on security assurance. China joined the U.K., Russia and NATO as the first participants in the program. But that initiative did not stop Microsoft from losing a lucrative desktop replacement deal with the city of Munich to IBM and SuSE Linux in May. Discuss This in the eWEEK Forum

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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