Lenovo Bundles StarOffice on ThinkPads

The bundle is currently only available in Singapore. Other Chinese companies, though, are being more aggressive about supporting open source.

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. have announced an agreement to bundle the StarOffice 8 office suite in Lenovos latest ThinkPad R51e notebook.

In the deal, which was announced earlier this week, Sun and Lenovo agreed to bundle the newly released StarOffice 8 to Singapore customers on one model of the ThinkPad line.

StarOffice 8 is designed to compete directly with Microsoft Office.

Besides including equivalents to Offices components—such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint—the new StarOffice includes functionality to make it easy for users to migrate from Microsoft Office to StarOffice.

Suns new office suite is also the first commercial suite to support the OpenDocument format.

However, one shouldnt mistake this move to mean that Lenovo is getting ready to offer StarOffice on its systems to a broad audience.

"Lenovo has no plans to bundle StarOffice on Think-branded products worldwide," said Jeff Dundash, a Lenovo PR representative. "In Singapore, we are responding to a unique need to meet the cost requirements of customers in that country.

"We have worked with our distributor, Ingram Micro, to include the software CD with select orders of the ThinkPad R50e in Singapore. This is consistent with how we handle the fulfillment of other customer software requirements."

Other Chinese companies are being more aggressive about making open-source programs and operating systems available to their customers.

Sun Wah Linux Ltd., a Hong Kong-based Linux distributor and member of the Debian Common Core Alliance, announced Wednesday that it is supplying its Chinese-language Linux on more than 140,000 new systems to the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education.

Sun Wah maintains that this is the single largest procurement project in the China education history.

Indeed, "This is the largest Linux desktop roll-out in Asia, thus proving that national Linux OS is moving toward more practical usage by saving millions of dollars and bringing profound influence to China Linux development and application promotion," said Alex Banh, CEO of Sun Wah Linux.

"This project marks the cooperative effort of Sun Wah Linux and the Jiangsu governments use of Linux to fight against Microsofts monopoly in China," Banh added.

Additional reporting by John Spooner.


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