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Sun-Netscape finds its orbit with i-Planet

Sun Microsystems will anoint all products from the Sun-Netscape alliance with a new brand name tomorrow, called i-Planet.

Sun Microsystems will anoint all products from the Sun-Netscape alliance with a new brand name tomorrow: i-Planet.

The products from the alliance "will be marketed under one unifying brand name," the company said. The name i-Planet comes from Sun's i-Planet product, which will be renamed i-Planet Webtop 2.0

The Sun-Netscape alliance grew out of America Online's acquisition of Netscape last year.

The two companies, through the alliance, are merging their respective Internet products into a new line of corporate Internet software, including corporate e-mail, application servers, Web servers, directory servers, collaboration, and calendars. The new products are expected to ship early next year.

Mark Tolliver, general manager of the alliance, is expected to discuss the i-Planet brand name at a briefing tomorrow, celebrating the first 100 days of the alliance's operation.

Sun's existing i-Planet Webtop product allows users to gain access to personalized desktop computer services hosted on a central server through a Java-enabled Web browser. Essentially, it revives Sun's network computer concept without relying on deployment of new "thin clients" to replace ordinary PCs. Webtop grew out of Sun's own Sun.net system.

The Webtop software is in use at Sun, Digex, Fed Ex, Lucent, Symantec, US West, Texas Instruments, and other companies, Sun said.