The Death of the Desktop Computer

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Yesterday was Scott McNealy's day in the sun. Grinning even more than usual, McNealy -- the CEO of Sun Microsystems, a major Microsoft rival -- turned his Comdex keynote into a victory lap. "People ask me what do I think of the findings of fact," McNealy said. "Well, duh. Look in the dictionary under the word monopoly and you see the Microsoft logo." Asked for his remedy in the Microsoft case, McNealy joked with press, "you mean under U.S. law?"

Apart from cheering on the government's trustbusters, Sun's strategy for ending Microsoft's dominance in desktop operating systems and applications is to move computing to the server. To encourage those who are slow to make the switch, they'll give away their applications for free. Taking a page from the Linux gang - who McNealy managed to deride as "communes" - Sun has saturated Comdex with signs touting Star Office, a suite of word processing, spreadsheet and other big applications that Sun is giving away gratis. Tens of thousands of copies of Sun's Star Office were distributed at Comdex, included one copy on each of the 7,000 seats for McNealy's keynote. MORE >>