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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-09-18 Print this article Print

: Project Mad Hatter"> While its unlikely the initial market will be as broad as for Microsoft Corp.s Windows offering, there will be demand from within call centers, point-of-sale centers with transactional desktops and from those organizations using Web-based or dedicated applications or those who are not dependent on the basic scripts and macros in Microsoft Word and Office, she said. During his keynote address here on Wednesday morning, Schwartz ran a demonstration of a typical corporate scenario for this desktop solution. A new employee was issued a Java Smartcard as his ID badge. This allowed him to log into a Sun Ray thin client at any cubicle or office in the building.
The employee would then be linked to a GNOME desktop environment, running the Evolution e-mail client—an alternative to Microsofts Outlook—and the StarOffice productivity suite. Whatever changes he made to the system would then follow him wherever he logged in.
"We are returning to our roots in providing lowest cost open-source file formats around the desktop infrastructure and on the server side. But it is not enough to do this on a Sun Ray machine, which has to be attached to the network," he said. Schwartz also gave a demonstration, using a PC supplied by an independent third-party hardware maker, for those customers that wanted to repurpose their existing hardware or buy new ones that had functionality when not attached to the network. "Call centers, back-office, academic institutions are our target markets. Those industries and economies that are cost-sensitive are our target markets. If youre an OEM looking for choice, wed love to talk to you. For channel partners seeking value, come and talk to us," he said. In a media question-and-answer session later, Sun CEO, president and chairman Scott McNealy said the company was not targeting the general-purpose PC-user market. The target market was those businesses with a fixed-function environment. Earlier in his keynote address, Schwartz said Sun had a history of being a disruptive technological force and a supporter of the open-source community, stressing that this very history was also one of customer choice. The industry needs to have energy poured back into it as it recovers from the economic downturn, he said, while users want to save money, increase scale and bolster security. "Solaris is industrys best operating environment and is Suns crown jewel. We know scale, in a way that is really profound. We are redoubling our commitment to Solaris and, at the same time, are going to bring scalability, security and innovation to our Linux initiatives," he said. There are clearly two environments at the moment: SunONE and Java or Windows and .Net. "The SunONE Web server and Apache dominate at the edge of the Net. The SunONE architecture is the Java architecture, and this is the architecture that drives our business," he said. Sun believes in one integrated developer platform that is both open and open source, and the companys committed to providing that, Schwartz said, committing the company to providing in the next 12 months the self-healing, clustering and failover technologies users currently get at the high end on its application server, Schwartz said. Sun has also been aggressively driving Linux to just about every platform out there, he said, adding that the company is very familiar with the notion of free source. Sun is committed to driving the SunONE stack onto Linux and driving it more deeply into the Solaris operating environment. In a survey conducted by Sun, 12 percent of IT users said they could afford to migrate to Windows XP, and many expected Microsofts Software Assurance licensing plan to cost them more, with 38 percent considering alternative products. It was those 38 percent of users that Sun would be targeting, Schwartz said. Related Stories:
  • Suns McNealy Sees Bright Future
  • Sun Ships Low-Cost 64-Bit Workstation
  • Dark Clouds Gather Over Sun

    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


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