Sun bundles apps suite with NC

Sun will answer critics who say that its JavaStation Network Computer will suffer from lack of business applications by bundling an Office-like suite for a limited period.

The suite is Anyware Office from US developer Applix. It includes a word processor, 3D spreadsheet, e-mail client and data querying tool, and is aimed at corporate intranet users. Applix claims the suite is even more economical on system requirements and bandwidth than competing Java applications.

UK marketing manager Mike Smith said Anyware Office differs from competing products by delivering real-time changes to data. Real-time data can be fed into the server with updates made to the Anyware Office spreadsheet on the fly, for example. "In an environment such as spare parts ordering you could have just-in-time ordering instead of just-in-case ordering, leading to huge savings by reducing logistics holdings," he said.

Smith said that fears over the security of Java as an environment were unfounded. "The fact that the Ministry of Defence is using the Internet shows the paranoia is misplaced so long as you have a good firewall," he said. The Network Computer is the next quantum step in computing. You're not replacing hardware every year and it brings the management of the mainframe/dumb terminal model with the friendliness of today's applications."

Sold separately, the Anyware Office will cost from £10,000 for a 10-user licence.

Applix can be contacted by telephone on 0171-426 0915.

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