Sun Shines Spotlight on Orion, Mad Hatter

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-09-15 Print this article Print

At this week's Sun Network user show, the company will announce new business and pricing models for both initiatives—while stressing their affordability.

Sun Microsystems Inc. officials from CEO Scott McNealy on down this week will use the companys premier user show, Sun Network, to make a host of software system announcements around Project Orion and Project Mad Hatter, while stressing how affordable the initiatives are compared with Microsoft products. Orion essentially involves integrating all the component pieces of the Sun ONE stack into Solaris and Linux over the next few years, while Mad Hatter is the companys "alternative desktop" strategy.
On Tuesday Sun will announce at the San Francisco show new business and pricing models for Orion and Mad Hatter, both of which will also be officially renamed, executives at the Santa Clara, Calif., company told eWEEK.
In addition, Sun will reiterate its commitment to deliver updates to the Orion software stack every quarter and its promise that it will be simple, affordable and predictable. Mad Hatter is based on open-source software from GNOME to Mozilla, StarOffice, Ximian Inc.s Evolution and Linux. Sun officials declined to say what standard version of Linux will be used for Mad Hatter, adding that this will not be announced at the conference. Sun officials from McNealy to Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of the companys software group, this week will also all stress the affordability of both the new desktop offering and the Orion software stack compared with Microsoft products. Click here for Baselines interview with Scott McNealy. The Mad Hatter enterprise desktop is expected to initially be targeted at cost-sensitive customers like transaction workers, call centers and the government rather than power users. "We are seeing enormous interest from other countries like China and others who are wary of using Microsoft products and who understand the benefits of open software at an affordable price," Sun Software Director Ingrid van den Hoogen said last week. There will also be some developer announcements during the show, which runs all week, including developer needs and tools, as well as some news around Suns N1 initiative and strategy, she said. Discuss this in the eWeek forum.
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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