Sun Microsystems, Inc. recently announced an agreement with the China Standard Software Co., Ltd. (CSSC) to establish Sun's Java Desktop System as the foundation for standard desktop development and deployment in China.

The CSSC is a consortium of Chinese technology companies supported by the Chinese government to produce a nationwide standard desktop software system to help bridge the digital divide among the nation's 1.3 billion citizens. The CSSC has selected Sun as its preferred technology partner to help reach this goal.

This collaboration is the first step in Sun's global campaign to partner with every nation and to help bring an open, affordable and secure desktop to users worldwide. Countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Israel and India are driving programs and incentives to improve their IT infrastructures and incorporate technology into government agencies, educational systems and to domestic regions where economic barriers have limited technological growth. In an effort to accelerate these initiatives and quickly bridge this "digital divide," Sun is embarking on a program to partner with these nations through the Java Desktop System.

The CSSC and Sun Microsystems technology licensing agreement will pave the way for the CSSC to deliver its own branded desktop products using the Java Desktop System as the foundation for its desktop standards, subject to export approval from the U.S. government. The PRC plans to ultimately install at least 200 million copies of an open-standards-based desktop solution throughout the country. Starting with approximately 500,000 to one million seats per year, the multi-year agreement is planned to start at the end of 2003.

"Linux and open source software bring new opportunities not only to China, but also to other countries around the world," said Li Wuqiang, deputy director-general, Department of High and New Technology Development and Industrialization, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) People's Republic of China. "A desktop solution based on open standards means more choice, an affordable price and a higher level of information security. China warmly welcomes international cooperation in this area, such as this agreement between CSSC and Sun."

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