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"Sun ist ein Berliner" - For the Next Two Days

Sun will soon find out of its 'Serious Software Made Simple' approach is right for the European marketplace

Can it be done? Sun's high-ups will today tell Europe that it expects "http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/031203/sfw035_1.html)">10.4 million new Linux desktop shipments by 2007" - a reference to its Java Desktop System, which is generally available from today. (Sun is calling it "The first viable Windows alternative in 15 years.")

"The Sun Java Desktop System, a comprehensive, secure and highly affordable enterprise desktop solution," says the company's official http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/031203/sfw035_1.html)">announcement, "is now available directly through Sun and its iForce partner program."

Additionally, the announcement continues, Sun has inaugurated an agreement with EDS to help speed the delivery and adoption of the Java Desktop System for customers and iForce partners worldwide. Under this agreement, Sun will provide global management, support, tools and service offerings for the Java Desktop System, with services to be delivered by EDS.

"These service offerings will help customers migrate to the new desktop alternative, thereby continuing to fulfill Sun's commitment to providing best-in-class enterprise software solutions," says Sun.

How much does it all cost? Just $50 per employee - so long as a company has already chosen to adopt the $100 per employee-model deployed in Sun's Java Enterprise System. There's also a 50 percent off list price discount promotion through June 2, 2004.

How does Software Group EVP Jonathan Schwartz express this moment of opportunity? Thus: 

"More than two decades ago, Sun Microsystems developed its first workstation for institutions of higher learning. Today, Sun is as committed as it was on day one to partnering with universities and research institutions to deliver the highest quality technology. The solution best suited for the academic environment is Sun's Java Desktop System."

There. It's as simple as that. But he backs up the assertion with impressive examples from other parts of the world, too - reminding how the China Standard Software Company (CSSC) recently chose Java Desktop System as the foundation for standard desktop development and deployment in the People's Republic of China (PRC). He also reminds his audience that Macromedia, Adobe, Computer Associates, RealNetworks, and other independent software vendors (ISVs) have pledged support.

Schwartz sees an academic opportunity for Sun with its new Windows-beater:

"[The Java Desktop System] gives universities the opportunity to continue pushing the envelope in research. Sun will also offer a very aggressive pricing model just for the education market, just in time for the holidays." 

Curtis Sasaki, Sun's VP of Desktop Solutions is in combative mood too.

"Sun offers not just a desktop, but a comprehensive set of partners and programs that address global support, migration practices, developer and ISV solutions. ...The worldwide opportunity for these solutions is tremendous and provides exciting business opportunities for the IT industry."

If anyone were in any doubt that Sun proposes now to ride on the coat-tails of Linux, they should just read the company's announcement, which appears to use "Java" only as a Sun trademark, and not as a reference to the programming language (and now platform) once know as "Oak."

To reduce costs and free themselves from proprietary and expensive desktop solutions, countries across the world such as China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Israel, Denmark, Vietnam, Germany and Brazil are turning to open source-based technologies.

Market researcher IDC predicts that worldwide, new Linux client operating environment-paid new license shipments will grow from 3.4 million to 10.4 million by 2007, which is a 2002-2007 compound annual growth rate of 25 percent.

Recognizing this prime opportunity to grow its desktop business, Sun is embarking on aggressive alliances with ISVs worldwide. iForce Partner Program Building the Java Desktop System Community Sun continues to increase its investments to help partners be successful. Over the last three years, Sun has provided an extensive portfolio of benefits -- ranging from access to software technology, co-marketing opportunities and discounted hardware -- to more than 6,000 partners (solution providers, system integrators and ISVs).

[all quotes taken from Sun news release, dated December 3, 2003]

Industry thought leaders well-known to sites like LinuxWorld.com, such as Grover Righter, VP of Marketing for Kabira, an iForce Partner member, are being wheeled out in support:

"The Sun Java Desktop System addresses several key requirements in our markets for financial services and telecommunications. The new desktop offering fills significant gaps by offering an integrated set of secure components that incorporates an organization's existing business software. Customers will utilize the Java Desktop in combination with server side deployments of Kabira's high-speed software switches and gateways on Sun platforms."

So it will be interesting to hear from Java Developer's Journal readers in Europe how many times Java, rather than Linux, is mentioned in Berlin.

More Stories By Java News Desk

JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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