Sun Microsystems Inc. on Wednesday will announce a partnership with Electronic Data Systems Corp., in which the Plano, Texas, IT outsourcing firm will provide migration services, training, help-desk and call center desktop services for Suns Java Desktop System.
Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of software at Sun, in Santa Clara, Calif., will also use the companys fourth-quarter network computing press conference at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco on Wednesday to announce the early access program for Project Rave—renamed Java Studio Creator—Suns competitor to Microsoft Corp.s Visual Studio .Net product.
In an interview with eWEEK ahead of the conference, Schwartz said EDS is the largest service provider for Microsoft desktops and manages more Microsoft desktops than anyone else in the industry, including IBM.
"That puts in our camp the leading Microsoft supporter. Combine that with our recently announced Java Desktop System deal with the Chinese government, which will be one of the biggest desktop deals ever done, and it becomes clear that we have established ourselves as a leading desktop provider and, curiously, Linux provider," Schwartz said.
EDS is a global company and, as the appetite for an alternative to Microsoft technologies varies by geography, both companies will be able to respond to demand for that in regions other than North America, which is "probably the least interested," Schwartz said.
"Theres a combination of selling that both Sun and EDS will have to do, but theres also a great amount of demand fulfillment that we can now collectively engage in," he said. That will most likely start with academic institutions, government agencies and transaction workers in bank branches, retail outlets, reservationists and call centers, he said.
Sun likely wont push its Java Desktop System to the boardroom, executive suites or Wall Street, which has no appetite for this type of change and the cost-savings that could come with it, he said.