UK Government Backs Suns Java Desktop System

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-12-08 Print this article Print

Sun Microsystems on Monday will announce a strategic agreement with the United Kingdom's Office of Government Commerce to back the Java Enterprise System and the Java Desktop System.

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday will announce a strategic five-year agreement with the United Kingdoms Office of Government Commerce to establish the Java Enterprise System and the Java Desktop System as the underlying infrastructure and desktop solutions for the public sector. This latest deal comes hot on the heels of the announcement last month that it had signed a deal with the China Standard Software Co. to deliver its Sun Java Desktop System in that country. To read more about Suns recent moves to bring its Java productivity suite to the Asian market, click here.
The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) forms part of the British Treasury and the central purchasing body for the UK government, and its goal is to maximize value for money for the public sector in all areas of procurement.
"The agreement will allow public-sector organizations to realize significant value-for-money savings when buying desktop and enterprise software. The arrangement, which is effective immediately, provides the British public sector a genuine alternative to costly licensing agreements," said Scott McNealy, Suns president and CEO, in a statement expected for release on Sunday. According to McNealy, the British public sector was faced with huge IT purchasing decisions and, as such, it required a desktop and underlying software architecture that was based on open standards, predictable pricing models and infinite right to use. "Our arrangement with the OGC, delivers transparent IT buying to the UK public sector and introduces competition in the desktop space," McNealy said. In a recent briefing, Sun executives gave the industry an overview of its strategic initiatives, including its Java Desktop System, hardware and software offerings. Recent announcements by Sun on support for its Java Desktop offering have ratcheted up the pressure on Microsoft and its Windows desktop. In addition to its November agreements with China, Sun last week announced a relationship with Electronic Data Systems, the Plano, Texas IT outsourcing firm, to provide migration services, training, help-desk and call-center services for the Java Desktop System. Jonathan Schwartz, the executive vice president of software at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun, said last week that EDS managed more Microsoft Windows desktops than any other company. "They are now in a position to offer their customers a choice. We continue to see demand and are talking to every government and their agencies across the globe," he said. Sun did not want to be in the business of desktop support, and also wanted to make sure that as it approached potential new customers that it had a relationship with the company [EDS] that currently supported them, Schwartz added. For more news and analysis of Suns arrangement with EDS over support for Java Desktop System, click here.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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