Sun Takes Crack at Desktop Windows
At LinuxWorld, chief software engineer Jonathan Schwartz told the crowd its "Mad Hatter" Microsoft-killer will command half the price of a Windows-Microsoft Office combination.SAN FRANCISCOSun Microsystems Inc.s chief software engineer took the LinuxWorld stage here today to show off "Mad Hatter," the companys upcoming unified desktop, which he said the company will sell for half the price of a Windows environment. Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice-president of Suns software group, also said that a broad software-license deal struck with AT&T in the late 1990s allowed the company to inject whatever code it wanted into the Linux kernel. Schwartz pledged to indemnify its customers against any lawsuits by the SCO Group or another supplier. Mad Hatter, which Sun first disclosed a year ago, is Suns effort to dislodge Microsoft Corp. and its Windows/Office combination from the desktop PC. Like StarOffice, which is built upon the work of the OpenOffice.org developers, Mad Hatter will include a third-party Linux GUI such as GNOME, the Mozilla browser, Suns StarOffice suite, the Evolution e-mail server, the GAIM messaging client and Java and it will be priced to undercut Microsoft.
"We think it will be 80 to 90 percent less expensive than (Microsoft)," Schwartz said in a question-and-answer session following his keynote. When audience members pointed out that Microsoft uses volume pricing to win enterprise customers, Schwartz amended his statement to say that Sun will price its products at half the price of Microsofts volume discounts.