Sun, Google to Partner on Software

The companies are together expected to promote and enhance Sun technologies, and Sun has plans to include the Google Toolbar as an option in its consumer downloads of the Java Runtime Environment.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Sun Microsystems and Google on Tuesday announced a partnership that will see the two Silicon Valley firms distribute and promote each others software technologies.

Under the agreement, the two firms will explore opportunities to promote and enhance Sun technologies like the desktop productivity suite and the Java Runtime Environment.

Sun will also include the Google Toolbar as an option in its consumer downloads of the Java Runtime Environment.

Jean Bozman, an analyst with IDC, said that from the beginning Java had been all about ubiquity, meaning wide availability.

"Java is on just about every operating system out there, so by its very nature it is ubiquitous. What Google provides is an application in terms of a service, and that takes Java to a new level of ubiquity," she said.

Scot McNealy, Suns president and CEO, said the partnership between the two is a natural one as Google CEO Eric Schmidt, a former Sun employee, had shepherded the Sun OS, which became Solaris.

He also shepherded Java out of the labs.

"We were hot once and have been refocusing and retooling and have turned around and done a good job of capturing some large Solaris deployments. We also want to take back the Web, and so what better way to take back the Web than to partner with the leader of Web services, Google," he said.

"There are 20 million downloads of the JRE every month, and we now have 913 Java community Process partners, including Google."

"We are pushing that, and the Solaris technology, very heavily. There have been some 52 million downloads worldwide of StarOffice and, and it runs on eight platforms."

The deal announced Tuesday between the two firms is a strategic partnership to promote JRE and Google tool bar, and would be available on the Sun Web site in weeks, if not days.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more about early speculation around a Sun-Google alliance.

"This will leverage the desktop Java environment and provide a wonderful synergistic environment between the two firms. The toolbar and JRE leverage one another. There are 8 million unique visitors a month to the Google Web site, which is a staggering number," he said.

"Google will become an even bigger Sun customer, so stay tuned for more on that. They will also be key to all of the free and open technologies we are driving. There will be a lot of money flowing both ways, we will be using their advertising, and they are a customer using our technology, so stay tuned," McNealy said.

McNealy then brought to stage Andy Bechtolsheim, who was the original investor in both Sun and Google, before handing Schmidt a starter kit of Solaris, StarOffice and Java.

Schmidt said the Google Toolbar would be downloaded by tens of millions of users as a result of this deal, adding that the scale of Java is really impressive.

"We at Google do Java all over the place, so its a natural extension and endorsement, and we will work with Sun to make that continue to happen. We are already a Sun customer, and we will be expanding that significantly going forward," he said.

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