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Sun may move System 7 to Solaris

According to a high-level source at Sun Microsystems, the company is already formulating plans for incorporating Apple's technology into its line of Unix workstations.

A high-level source within Sun Microsystems told CNET news late today that the deal to acquire Apple Computer is imminent and plans for absorbing the Cupertino, California, company's technology are already on the drawing board.

Possible plans call for porting the Apple System 7 interface to the Solaris operating system. Solaris is Sun's version of Unix. Such a move would make Sun's low-end workstation line more attractive to a wider range of users in the market for sophisticated sytems.

In addition, there is a possibility that in the event of an acquisition, Sun will replace the PowerPC chips with its own 32-bit microSparc microprocessor. The Mountain View, California, systems vendor would then reserve its 64-bit UltraSparc chips for the midrange server line.

According to a report in today's Wall Street Journal, Sun Microsystems is continuing its negotiations with Apple Computer to acquire the ailing company.

Although neither firm has been willing to comment on the bid, the report cites people familiar with the situation who say it is Sun's third attempt at an Apple takeover in three months.

The report said those close to the talks indicate that the initial aim of concluding negotiations by next Tuesday has been moved up, with participants pushing for a resolution this week.