A joint venture by Google and Sun Microsystems announced Monday is the latest challenge to the dominance of Microsoft Office.

The Silicon Valley firms said at a news conference that Sun will include Google's toolbar as an option in its Java Runtime, which will give Google a portal to an even larger audience. Sun's presence on the popular search engine will give more users access to Sun business products, in particular the OpenOffice business desktop suite.

"Working with Google will make our technologies available more broadly, increase options for users, lower barriers, and expand participation worldwide," Sun CEO Scott McNealy predicted.

The deal is expected to position Sun's stock for a move to the upside because it gives Google's army of users the opportunity to easily check out OpenOffice as an alternative to the ubiquitous Windows Office.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International