UK Government Backs Suns Java Desktop System

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.

/zimages/5/28571.gifTo 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.

/zimages/5/28571.gifIn 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.

/zimages/5/28571.gifFor more news and analysis of Suns arrangement with EDS over support for Java Desktop System, click here.

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