The Alternative Desktop

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-09-16 Print this article Print

The Sun Java Desktop System, the companys "alternative desktop" strategy, is also priced at $100 per user per year and includes service, support, software and training. This desktop is based on open source software from GNOME to Mozilla, StarOffice, Ximian Inc.s Evolution and Linux. But van den Hoogen declined to say what standard version of Linux will be used, adding that this will not be announced this week. While there will be no volume discounts, customers who buy the Java Enterprise System and want the Java desktop solution as well can get it for an additional $50 per employee per year. "So, for $150 a year, customers get solutions for the server and desktop," she said.
Sun has simplified "every facet—all the integration, all the pricing. This is an integrated and integratable solution. Its also a single SKU, which simplifies the order process," she added. Many of its customers are running a range of legacy systems, and Sun does not expect them to just throw those out overnight. "This is another option for them over time. It is not our goal to declare that ours is the only way," van den Hoogen said.
The Java Studio system, which is the new name for all the developer tools, will come in an Enterprise Edition, the development environment for developers to develop to the Java Enterprise System. There will also be a desktop version. Pricing for the Enterprise Edition is expected to be around $2,000 a seat; if the customer buys the Java Enterprise system, the cost would be an additional $5 per employee. At this time, Sun is only giving directional guidance around its plans for the Java Mobility System, which is targeted at the major carriers and content providers, as Java is pervasive in that space. The same applies to the Sun Java Card System, which is already being used by some 500,000 people globally; Sun is now putting together a system for them, she said. "But the pricing for these and what is in them will not be announced now, but further details can be expected within the next three to six months," she said. Sun on Tuesday will also announce Sun N1 CenterRun. Executives will talk about the cost-savings that the more than 60 N1 customers, including Cingular Wireless and VeriSign, have already had by moving to the N1 model, van den Hoogen 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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