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April 1, 2004

Java desktop now available with sofas and kitchenware

Sun Microsystems Inc's mission to bring Java to consumers has seen Sun make its Java Desktop System (JDS) available on PCs sold to shoppers at retail giant Walmart.

By CBR Staff Writer

Three PCs from Microtel running AMD and Intel chips and starting at $248, are now being sold to Walmart customers.

The machines come pre-loaded with Sun’s JDS stack of StarOffice desktop productivity suite, IM, browser and e-mail, and run on Linux.

Sun’s executive vice president for software Jonathan Schwartz said: Walmart will likely become the biggest distributor of PCs.

We are making it possible for someone in the Midwest who doesn’t have $1,000 to purchase a PC and become part of the networked community, Schwartz said.

JDS represents a fresh stab at Java on the desktop for Sun, which has until fairly recently focused on Java for servers and mobile devices. The new thinking last year saw agreements with Apple Computer, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett Packard, Tsinghua Tongfang, Sharp, and Toshiba, to ship Sun’s Java virtual machine on desktops.

Sun claims 60% of PCs shipping today are preloaded with its version of Java.

Underlying Sun’s focus on desktops is a broader goal of reaching consumers with Java technology and making consumers even more aware of Java’s existence in the devices they use, such as PC and mobile phones. In some ways, Sun is hoping to emulate the success of Intel Corp’s Intel inside campaign.

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The company plans a series of 60 TV slots beginning next week around what Java can do for consumers.

By making consumers more aware, Sun hopes to realize increased revenue growth in a number of ways. One is through increased licensing of Java, as developers meet demand for Java-based games, and also through sales of, or subscriptions to, application development tools like Java Studio.

Sun software’s interest in gaming saw the company last year launch Java.com, from where Java games and applications can be downloaded to PCs or mobile device.

Sun also expects to derive revenue from carriers and service providers who host and make games available for download. In addition to hardware, companies are expected to require directory, identity management and provisioning among other elements in Sun’s Java Enterprise Server (JES) to administer these services.

Helping position Sun in this market, the company last year bought content delivery and billing specialist Pixo for its Mobile Download Server (MDS) and identity management vendor Waveset Technologies Inc whose software will be used with other elements of the JES stack. JES also includes Sun’s application server, portal, e-mail, calendaring, IM, clustering and availability software.

Schwartz claimed 146,000 employees at 100 companies are using JES as of the close of Sun’s third quarter this week.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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