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Sun Opens Java Center, Expands NEC Agreement

McNealy in Asia, Addresses Java, Mobile and Embedded Issues

Sun Microsystems and NEC have agreed to expand the strategic alliance between the two companies, calling for the creation of new solutions that will incorporate technology and products from both companies. The announcement was made in Tokyo by Sun Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy and NEC President Akinobu Kanasugi.

"This alliance is all about enhancing the strategic collaboration and development efforts between Sun and NEC," McNealy said. "We can now say that our visions, from the chip level to the middleware layer and all the way through system integration are aligned and complementary."

The Sun-NEC alliance will see the expansion of the Sun-NEC Systems Integration business relationship, development of secure voice and data solutions, and enhanced collaboration in the development of middleware software, according to Sun.

While in Japan, McNealy also met with businesspeople, government officials, customers, and technology partners to talk about Sun's new product pipeline and recent company developments, such as the rollout of Solaris 10 Operating System (OS), which passed the 1 million license mark in the first two months of this year.

McNealy's press conference and meetings in Japan were part of a weeklong Asia tour that also included visits to China and South Korea. The Asian IT market, bolstered by the region's strong economic growth and technology leadership, is of significant strategic importance to Sun's business.

While visiting South Korea, McNealy announced the opening of a Java Technology Research Center in southern Seoul, along with Sun's plan to invest $50 million into the promotion of Java technology, across mobile and embedded systems, during the next four years. The Research Center will initially house 12 researchers.

"From what I've seen, South Korea is the world leader in both mobile Java technology and IT infrastructure," McNealy said. "Our investment is testament to the fact that we believe in, and place enormous value on, the state of innovation and strong growth potential this country has to offer."

While visiting China, during his keynote address at Sun's Education and Research Conference (ERC), held at the Beijing International Convention Center, McNealy pledged to donate 100,000 CPU hours to China's Academic GRID. The grant to Tsinghua University, where the country's academic research computer network is hosted, reinforces Sun's commitment to education and the global marketplace. It is also part of the company's promise to donate 1 million CPU hours to education and research institutions around the world throughout the year.

"Sun's roots are in the academic and research worlds, and we really understand the power of the network," McNealy said. "China's Academic GRID is a great example of the way higher education is taking the next logical step toward Grid Computing. At Sun, that's exactly the kind of goal we want to support, to help students and educators push the boundaries of research."

Chinese officials plan to connect an additional 20 universities to the GRID this year, with the eventual goal of becoming the largest of its kind in the world by supporting up to 100 universities throughout the country.

Along with CPU hours, Sun will also provide Sun Grid Web-based training courses to Chinese students, Sun Java System Portal Server software to support China's Academic Grid, the development of user ID management solutions, and assistance to students conducting research in fields such as bio-informatics and remote education.

During his address, McNealy shared his perspective on "what's hot" in education and "what's not," making the point that the digital divide should and can be eliminated by improving the state of education in developing nations. He also pointed out that innovative technology has the potential to enhance the quality and accessibility for students and educators everywhere.

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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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