Sun woos developers for Web 2.0

Sun – the company that coined the slogan ‘the network is the computer’ – is trying to reposition its software as the platform for the Web 2.0. The company has announced that it is making the Java Enterprise System, Sun N1 Management software, and its developer tools freely available to developers, with no deployment or licensing costs. It is also ‘reaffirming its commitment’ to open source the software.

Software that is now freely available includes: the open sourced Solaris 10 OS with the PostgreSQL database, the Sun Java Identity Management Suite, the Sun N1 System Manager, the Sun N1 Grid Engine, and all its tools for C, C++ and Java development, including Sun Studio 11, Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 and Sun Java Studio Creator.

Also released is the SunRay ultra-thin client and the Sun Secure Global Desktop Software.

Sun boldly asserts that it is creating a risk-free ‘no-cost and open alternative to the Windows environment’, but doesn’t omit Linux when mentioning that the Sun Java Enterprise System and the Sun developer tools can be used on other multi-platform environments including Windows, HP-UX and Linux.

‘With more than 3.4M Solaris 10 licenses and nearly one million Java Enterprise System subscribers, customers and developers around the world have asked us to take the next logical step – combining the world’s fastest growing open source operating system with the world’s most complete and ready to deploy infrastructure software platform,’ said the president and COO of Sun, Jonathan Schwartz. ‘With our announced intent to open source the entirety of our software offerings, every single developer across the world now has access to the most sophisticated platform available for web 1.0, 2.0 and beyond.’

Sun is also integrating all of the software, together with the Solaris OS, into the Solaris Enterprise System. Additionally, part of the package includes support services, such as developer training and its new Customer Network Services, which will provide administrators with automated support.

Despite its creation and development of the platform-neutral Java platform, which was designed from the start to be network friendly, Sun has not made major in-roads into the hearts and minds of developers. For the Windows platform, Microsoft and its venerable Visual Studio, and Borland and its various Builder tools, have long held developer mind-share, and open source developers have long used open source tools.

The importance of developers, of course, is that the applications they create for a platform are potentially what make it succeed or fail.

You can find the software for download at www.sun.com/solaris

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