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ADT at Comdex: Chinese firm buys into Java Desktop System

Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, did have one surprising (read: mostly unleaked)announcement to deliver with his keynote: Sun has agreed to work with the China Standard Software Co. Ltd. to develop desktop computers based on Sun's Linux-based Java Desktop System. This deal could lead to the installation of the software on hundreds of millions of computers in the People's Republic of China, McNealy said.

''We're going to immediately roll out the Java Desktop System to between a half million and a million desktops in the coming year,'' McNealy disclosed. ''This, I believe, makes us instantaneously the number one Linux desktop play in the planet.''

China Standard Software -- a consortium of Chinese government-supported firms -- was established to bring a Linux-based desktop to 200 million Chinese computer users.

The China deal could be the first of many to bring the Java Desktop System to government agencies around the world, McNealy said, hopefully. ''We're out calling on every ministry of IT on the planet, so stay tuned,'' he said. ''There should be some more interesting data there.''

Sun has been demoing the Java Desktop System for about a year. The company expects to begin shipping the product in December of this year.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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