A seven-month effort to establish its own branded Linux distribution is being ended by Sun because of customer opposition to yet another Linux version in the marketplace.A seven-month effort to establish its own branded Linux distribution is being ended by Sun Microsystems Inc. because of customer opposition to yet another Linux version in the marketplace.Sun\u00a0spokeswoman Ann O\u2019Leary said the effort, which was announced last August at LinuxWorld San Francisco, is being curtailed so the company can focus on developing partnerships with existing Linux vendors. O\u2019Leary wouldn\u2019t comment on which companies are in talks with Sun, but market leaders include Red Hat Inc. in Raleigh, N.C.; SuSE AG in Nuremberg, Germany; UnitedLinux in Wakefield, Mass.; and MandrakeSoft SA in Paris."For the sake of not having additional versions, we decided it\u2019s just more streamlined to go with existing vendors," O\u2019Leary said. Sun felt pressure from customers who weren\u2019t in favor of having to deal with additional versions of the Linux operating system, she said.The company\u2019s decision to change direction is an appropriate one based on the marketplace, O\u2019Leary said. "I think being able to react quickly is a good thing."No deadline has been set for when Sun will decide which Linux vendor to partner with, she noted.Analyst Bill Claybrook at Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston said the direction change was expected. "I thought they\u2019d eventually have to do it," he said. "It was stupid to try to develop or support their own Sun Linux," because they would have had to compete with market leaders Red Hat and UnitedLinux, which would have been a tough task.Al Gillen, an analyst at IDC, said Sun\u2019s idea of establishing its own Linux did make some sense initially because it would have allowed the company to more closely integrate its applications with the operating system. The problem, though, was that trying to get independent software vendors to port their applications to a new operating system was not likely to be successful, he said."That\u2019s an uphill battle," Gillen said. "If Sun had a huge market share, it wouldn\u2019t be a problem, but they\u2019re starting from zero."