The companies are together expected to promote and enhance Sun technologies, and Sun has plans to include the Google Toolbar as an option in its consumer downloads of the Java Runtime Environment.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.Sun Microsystems and Google on Tuesday announced a partnership that will see the two Silicon Valley firms distribute and promote each others software technologies.
Under the agreement, the two firms will explore opportunities to promote and enhance Sun technologies like the OpenOffice.org desktop productivity suite and the Java Runtime Environment.
Sun will also include the Google Toolbar as an option in its consumer downloads of the Java Runtime Environment.
Jean Bozman, an analyst with IDC, said that from the beginning Java had been all about ubiquity, meaning wide availability.
"Java is on just about every operating system out there, so by its very nature it is ubiquitous. What Google provides is an application in terms of a service, and that takes Java to a new level of ubiquity," she said.
Scot McNealy, Suns president and CEO, said the partnership between the two is a natural one as Google CEO Eric Schmidt, a former Sun employee, had shepherded the Sun OS, which became Solaris.
He also shepherded Java out of the labs.
"We were hot once and have been refocusing and retooling and have turned around and done a good job of capturing some large Solaris deployments. We also want to take back the Web, and so what better way to take back the Web than to partner with the leader of Web services, Google," he said.
"There are 20 million downloads of the JRE every month, and we now have 913 Java community Process partners, including Google."
"We are pushing that, and the Solaris technology, very heavily. There have been some 52 million downloads worldwide of StarOffice and OpenOffice.org, and it runs on eight platforms."
The deal announced Tuesday between the two firms is a strategic partnership to promote JRE and Google tool bar, and would be available on the Sun Web site in weeks, if not days.
Click here to read more about early speculation around a Sun-Google alliance.
"This will leverage the desktop Java environment and provide a wonderful synergistic environment between the two firms. The toolbar and JRE leverage one another. There are 8 million unique visitors a month to the Google Web site, which is a staggering number," he said.
"Google will become an even bigger Sun customer, so stay tuned for more on that. They will also be key to all of the free and open technologies we are driving. There will be a lot of money flowing both ways, we will be using their advertising, and they are a customer using our technology, so stay tuned," McNealy said.
McNealy then brought to stage Andy Bechtolsheim, who was the original investor in both Sun and Google, before handing Schmidt a starter kit of Solaris, StarOffice and Java.
Schmidt said the Google Toolbar would be downloaded by tens of millions of users as a result of this deal, adding that the scale of Java is really impressive.
"We at Google do Java all over the place, so its a natural extension and endorsement, and we will work with Sun to make that continue to happen. We are already a Sun customer, and we will be expanding that significantly going forward," he said.
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Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.
He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.
He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.
He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.
He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.
He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.
His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.
For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.