Suns Second Java Desktop System Slated for May Release

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-04-22 Print this article Print

The second version of the company's JDS will be generally available in the first week of May, a vice president says, and will include management capabilities that allow enterprises to fine-tune and remotely set up the desktop.

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Thursday will use the Desktop Linux Summit in San Diego to announce that the second version of its Java Desktop System will be generally available in the first week of May. Curtis Sasaki, Suns vice president of desktop solutions, told eWEEK in an interview Wednesday, ahead of the summit, that among the key advances in version 2.0 are management capabilities that allow enterprises to fine-tune and remotely set up the desktop.
"They can turn features like macros on and off and can even modify the background screen for branding purposes," Sasaki said. "We have also added in remote desktop capabilities.
"And through our partnership with Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), one of our enterprise support partners, they have access to remote diagnosis of their desktops as well as help fixing these," he said. "We are also using EDS internal to Sun." Click here to read an eWEEK interview with Sun president and COO Jonathan Schwartz on JDS and other technologies. Also included in the latest software is an auto-update feature that allows enterprises to have their own mechanisms behind the firewall, and this feature would be used for both security and application downloads. Customers already using the Java Desktop System would be able to request a CD update of the software or download an update from the Web, Sasaki said. He will demonstrate the new features and functionality at the summit and during his speech Friday, titled "Learning from Customers to Reduce Barriers to Enterprise Linux Desktops." Sasaki also will be talking up adoption of the Sun desktop system. More than 250 enterprises are trying out the software in their own environments through pilot programs, and the company had sold "tens of thousands of licenses, if not even more, as all the figures are not back yet," he said. About 1,500 ISV developers had signed up for the Java desktop ISV program. "The good news here is that a lot of developers are certifying their applications on the Java Desktop System, and there is a branding system around that," Sasaki said. "We will be rolling this out on, and so already today there are applications there that have been run and tested on the JDS." Next Page: A third version of the desktop system is planned for this fall, Sasaki says.

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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