Google, Sun to unveil multiproduct collaboration

Google and Sun plan to unveil a multiproduct collaboration Tuesday at an event in Mountain View, California.

Google and Sun Microsystems are expected to unveil a collaborative effort that will encompass multiple products from both companies, according to a Sun spokeswoman.

Both Google Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Schmidt and Sun Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy will be on hand to unveil the partnership at an event this week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Representatives from the companies remain tight-lipped about what will be announced, but Jacki DeCoster, a Sun spokeswoman, noted that the partnership will be a "broad corporate relationship," similar to the one Sun struck with Microsoft last April, in which the companies will team up on several initiatives.

A relationship between Google and Sun is not surprising, considering that Google manages a large, distributed infrastructure to maintain its search site, and Sun servers powered the infrastructure behind the networks of many of the large dot-coms before the bust wiped them out.

Schmidt and McNealy also have a history together, as Google's top executive was chief technology officer (CTO) at Sun when the systems vendor introduced the Java programming language in 1996.

Additionally, both Sun and Google share a common enemy -- Microsoft. Industry sources have speculated that Google is interested in offering more applications, such as a Web-based office productivity suite, to compete with its rival.

If this is the case, it would certainly behoove Google to team up with a company such as Sun, which has a broad software portfolio -- including the StarOffice productivity suite -- but has never figured out the best way to market those applications for mass consumption. A pairing of the two companies, then, could give Google the technology it needs to keep Microsoft busy on multiple fronts, while giving Sun the marketing power that has always eluded it in the software market.

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Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
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