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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) - Google Inc. will promote Sun Microsystems Inc.'s word processing and office software products in an alliance announced on Tuesday that could mark a first step toward challenging Microsoft Corp's dominance of the computer users' desktops.
Computer maker Sun and Web search company Google gave few details, saying they would jointly promote OpenOffice, Sun's free office productivity software that competes with Microsoft's Office suite of software, and Sun's Java software platform, which runs thousands of PC programs.
Sun will include the Google Toolbar for Web searches as an option when consumers download Java for the desktop (http://java.com). A Sun spokesman said that Google will pay Sun for each download of Java desktop containing the Google toolbar, declining to name that amount.
At the news conference in Silicon Valley featuring the chiefs of both companies, Sun and Google outlined a vision of working together to build the next generation of the Internet, but they gave few details.
Sun and Google share a common lineage because key employees at Google have worked at Sun and both firms are rivals of Microsoft.
Financial terms were not disclosed. 'There is going to be a lot of money flowing both ways if we do this thing right', said Sun CEO Scott McNealy.
Asked whether Google might feature Sun's OpenOffice on the Google Toolbar, Schmidt responded: 'That's speculation. We don't pre-announce our products', he said.
Sun declined to comment on whether OpenOffice would become a Web-delivered application.
But speculation is rampant that this is precisely what the new alliance plan to do.
Barriers to entry which were the core of the Department of Justice trial against the Vole are broken down; there are indications Microsoft are withering away from within; and both Google and Sun may be out for blood.