Sun Microsystems announced today the second release of the Sun Java Desktop System, with new integrated desktop management and auto-update features as well as a free one-year developer tools subscription, which the company values at US$645.
Sun also announced that nine new independent software vendors are planning to offer their applications on the Java Desktop System. In response to what the company is calling “increased customer demand,” Sun is extending its promotional price of 50 percent off the Java Desktop System through December 2, 2004. The Java Desktop System, normally priced at $100 per desktop, will continue to be available for $50 — more than 85 percent less than Microsoft’s comparable offering, according to Sun.
“By delivering integrated centralized management functionality and providing extensive and safe system auto-update capabilities along with new enterprise-class support offerings, we are addressing the key pain points of CIOs, system administrators and developers: lower administration costs, enhanced manageability and better security,” said Curtis Sasaki, vice president of desktop solutions at Sun.
“It’s been 15 years since a legitimate desktop alternative was introduced to the market, and Sun is providing increased value, better security and more partners to give our customers strategic advantages,” Sasaki said.
Desktop Management Functionality
Companies now can set access rights and configure the Java Desktop System from a centralized location, a feature Sun said will help reduce security risks and lower the system’s total cost of ownership. Java Desktop System 2 also will let system administrators remotely set policies and configurations for individuals, groups or the entire organization, providing the ability to lock down user desktop systems.
In addition, the new system lets developers automatically distribute system patches from a central location to all Java Desktop Systems — plus perform remote desktop provisioning, management and software updates, as well as dependency checking, health monitoring and asset management.
Admins can automatically eliminate spam as well as unsolicited pop-up Internet advertising with new Mozilla browser features; temporarily assume control of remote desktops to simplify system troubleshooting; and use new language sets for Korean, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese.
Support from Major ISVs
Borland Software, CodeWeavers, Enactex, Ericom Software, Kabira Technologies, Linuxant, Tarantella, Transgaming Technologies, VersiTech and several other independent software vendors plan to offer their applications on Sun’s Java Desktop System, according to Sun.
“Borland has helped Linux become an important development platform for Java. Borland’s JBuilder, the number one Java development tool, has supported Linux developers for years,” said Bill Pataky, senior director at Borland. “Borland is pleased to announce that JBuilder will support Sun’s Java Desktop System.”
In addition to conventional consumer-oriented desktop features like Web browsing and word processing, the new Java Desktop System offers a development environment for Linux and Java developers that includes several development tools, including the Sun Java Studio, a development environment designed for creating applications ranging from desktop to enterprise-class technologies and Web services.
The new Java Desktop System also comes with NetBeans 3.6, an open-source development environment that integrates deployment and debugging of Web applications on all J2EE technology-based application servers, such as the Java System Application Server. Lastly, the Java Desktop System comes with Java 2 Standard Edition, a platform for developing and deploying applications with Linux system support.
Sun Java Desktop Program
Sun also is promoting the iForce partner program to provide software and hardware vendors with the opportunity to test, verify and brand their applications on the Java Desktop System. According to Sun, over the last three years, more than 6,000 partners have joined the iForce program.
Sun also announced several service offerings to help what the company calls “the global enterprise architect” — the administrator who might need to implement and manage a comprehensive Java Desktop System deployment worldwide. Services available include technical and managed help-desk support, end-user and system administration training courses, and architecture and implementation consulting services.
Sun also pointed out in statements to the press today that the Java Desktop System has gained worldwide traction with its agreements with China and Sourcenext Corporation, bringing the Japanese version of StarOffice software, StarSuite, to 15,000 retail locations in Japan and via Internet downloads.
The company also has partnered with Germany’s Markement, which, according to Sun, has sold more than 1 million copies of StarOffice software in Europe.
Sun’s Java Desktop System 2 is now available at 50 percent off its original price at an annual $50 per desktop or $25 per employee until December 2, 2004. The Java Desktop System can be purchased through Sun, through Sun’s iForce partners or through Wal-Mart on Microtel hardware.