The relationship between Apple and Microsoft appears to have hit another hurdle, as reports emerge claiming that Apple and Sun Microsystems are co-operating on a Mac OS X version of Sun's StarOffice suite.

Sun has already released the code for the application to the open-source developer group, The group released a developers' beta of the OS X port-in-progress last week.

In the run-up to Macworld Expo New York, Microsoft Mac Business Unit head, Kevin Browne, accused of failing to market its OS X operating system heavily enough, complaining of poor sales of Microsoft's office suite, Office v.X. He stated at the time that, should the situation fail to improve, Microsoft may quit the Mac market. Apple CEO Steve Jobs refuted the allegations during his New York keynote speech.

The Sun/Apple partnership will reportedly produce a Java-based version of OpenOffice by the end of the year. Cnet reports that Sun's software could be free, and quotes Sun's senior director of desktop marketing solutions, Tony Siress, as saying: “I don't want to sell StarOffice for OS X. I want Apple to bundle it.”