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July 17, 1990

SUN OFFERS NEW INDUCEMENTS TO WIN OPEN LOOK APPLICATIONS

By CBR Staff Writer

Faced with many defections among Unix System V.4 backers to the OSF/Motif user interface, Sun Microsystems Inc is waging a sustained campaign on behalf of its Open Look to ensure that while Motif may have the edge on hearts and minds, Open Look wins hands down on applications. Yesterday the company teamed up with Xerox Corp’s Ventura Software Inc to announce a version of Ventura Publisher for workgroup computing with the Open Look graphical user interface, while retaining all the current features – but that won’t be ready until the second half of next year. In the meantime, Sun announced its Catalyst CDware programme for marketing and distributing applications for Open Look, initially in the US. Catalyst CDware is designed to enable Sun users to browse through an interactive catalogue of applications – such as Lotus 1-2-3 for Sun, FrameMaker, on a CD-ROM, and the firm reckons it’s a great new way for third-party software developers to market products directly to Sun users. Each quarter, Sun will distribute Catalyst CDware free to its customers: it will include samples of programs, short demonstrations, all under Open Look. Sun is now bundling SunCD drives with all its Sparcservers and high-end Sparcstations, and those with only low end Sparcstations can load the disk on their compact disk player and listen to talk about the programs. And if one of the programs appeals, the user simply has to contact the developer of the program, who provides an electronic key to unlock the application on the disk. The company is also bundling a Welcome Kit set of discount coupons for applications and add-ons with every desktop Sparcstation that it ships, initially in the US, Canada and Italy.

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