Sun, Google Form Alliance

Updated: Speculation is rife regarding the new relationship to be unveiled between the computer and search companies.

Speculation is mounting ahead of Tuesdays upcoming announcement of a new relationship between Sun Microsystems and Google, but the most attention is going to the possibility of a software-related deal.

Some commentators approached by eWEEK said they would not be surprised if the search giant formalizes its plan to take aim at Microsoft Corp. and announces that it has agreed to distribute a version of Sun Microsystems Inc.s StarOffice desktop productivity software.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read the eWEEK Labs review that found StarOffice 8 to be Microsofts toughest Office rival yet.

Others have speculated that Google Inc. might announce a desktop productivity offering of its own, "Google Office," based on StarOffice or the open-source version.

Others are touting the possibility of a Google operating system that will be based on OpenSolaris or the Sun Java Desktop System.

The focus on some sort of a software offering is partly based on the fact that, for months now, rumors have swirled around the release of a possible desktop operating system from Google as it moves to build a comprehensive platform by turning computing into a utility.

/zimages/3/28571.gifWhy is Google so confident? Click here to read more.

There has also been talk that Google is looking to offer some sort of a Web-based office productivity suite to compete with Microsoft Office.

Adding fuel to the software speculation is that fact that a source close to Sun told eWEEK that John Loiacono, the executive vice president for software at the Santa Clara, Calif., company, as well as Curtis Sasaki, Suns vice president of engineering for Desktop Software Solutions, responsible for managing the development of Suns core desktop software, will both also attend Tuesdays event and will be on hand to answer questions.

But others say the news could also include a hardware and services component. Some suggest that Google could be buying Suns recently launched Galaxy servers, based on AMDs Opteron processor, designed to help Sun build a stronger presence in the x86 space.

Other speculation is that Google will use Sun servers as the backbone for the Google wireless offering, known as Google Wi-Fi.

"I suspect the announcement is to do with broadband and Wi-Fi networks. That totally plays into what theyve been trying to do with enabling participation infrastructure," one commentator told eWEEK.

Editors Note: This story was updated to include comments from analysts.

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