Sun Microsystems Wednesday announced a deal with a division of Sony to pre-install its StarOffice 6.0 productivity software on some Sony PCs sold in Europe, as it looks to eke out business in a market dominated by Microsoft's Office software.
The deal will put StarOffice 6.0 on select Sony Vaio desktops sold in Europe by the end of the year. It will be available in English, French, German, and Italian, said Nancy Lee, group product marketing manager with Sun's StarOffice division.
"We expect that our relationship with Sony is going to expand to other countries and markets," Lee said.
Sun's announcement is the latest in a string of deals that computer OEMs have made with software vendors to install products other than Microsoft's ubiquitous Office productivity suite on consumer PCs. In North America, Sony already has a deal with Corel to ship the WordPerfect productivity suite on some Vaio desktop and notebook PCs.
Sun and Corel share a tiny slice of the desktop software pie not controlled by the Redmond, Wash., software maker. They say lower prices and increased compatibility with Office are making their products attractive alternatives as they look to steal business from Microsoft. The Office suite, and a stripped-down version of that software called Microsoft Works, is installed on an estimated 95 percent of PCs sold around the world, Corel and Sun said, citing market research.