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September 9, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:51pm

FRENCH ROAST: SUN TO ACQUIRE CHORUS FOR ITS JAVA FLAVOR

By CBR Staff Writer

Continuing its string of strategic acquisitions in the Java marketplace, Sun Microsystems Inc today goes back to the coffee shop, paying an undisclosed sum for French embedded Java operating system company Chorus Systemes SA. After Bill Gates snatched some key Java technologies from under Sun Microsystems Inc’s nose – notably application development company DimensionX – Sun’s been much quicker to snap-up opportunities as they arise. Chorus built a $10m business on sales of a real-time Unix microkernel it marketed to telecoms companies, but as Unix vendors re-focused their efforts on the internet and key partners such as Santa Cruz Operation Inc gave it the cold shoulder, Chorus threw off its Unix cloak and re-focused its efforts around Java and OMG Corba technologies, making it a prime Sun real- estate target. It’s come up with Chorus/Jazz, which is Sun’s JavaOS implemented on top of the Chorus ClassiX microkernel, connecting Java and Chorus threads in such a way that Java applets can utilize Chorus’ realtime and embedded system services. Targeted for use in switches, web phones and other real-time Java devices and supporting a plethora of microprocessor architectures, the technology has obviously proved mouth-watering enough for Sun CEO Scott McNealy to put his hand in his pocket. Chorus’ experience with JavaOS is also likely to prove invaluable as Sun struggles to transition the JavaOS operating system – not yet productized in any usable form – from JavaSoft over to SunSoft. Chorus admits its JavaOS work is the main reason Sun showed interest in its business, but declined to say how much Sun is paying to acquire it. Chorus has some notable wins for its Java work, including Lucent Technologies Inc, which is using the technology in embedded transmission systems which link branches to central data systems, where it beat out Lucent’s distributed Inferno operating system. Adding Chorus to its Java stable gives Sun a Java operating system story on paper although Lucent’s Inferno people we spoke to yesterday say the pairing gives it no cause for concern, focused as Chorus is on real-time, as opposed to distributed system software. Chorus has annual revenues of $10m: 60% is generated in Europe, followed by the US, 30%, and Asia, 10%. A 50% and increasing share of Chorus’ revenues come from product sales. The company’s headquarters are in Paris where the core development team is located. It has 70 staff and an office in Campbell, California.

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