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Sun's Java Enterprise System stays in school

The computing systems maker unveils low-cost Java software that it will license to schools, in a continued effort to get a larger piece of the vast academic pie.

Sun Microsystems on Tuesday launched a low-cost software product that's targeted at the higher education market.

The Java Enterprise System is designed to serve various functions, including network identity management, communications and collaboration, Web applications and security services at an affordable price, the company said.

The software will be available to educational institutions for an annual license fee of $50 per year, per faculty or administrative staff. A single subscription covers the price of the software, maintenance and consulting, in addition to the infinite right to use the software in Internet applications.

The launch is part of Sun's continued effort to make inroads into the education market and stay ahead of competitors such as Microsoft, which sells operating systems and other software educators use.

Dell, which sells PCs and servers that are based on Microsoft's Windows or the Linux operating system, is another rival. In February this year, Sun began offering hardware discounts and a new omnibus software license that's named Sun EduSoft Portfolio.

"By offering a lower-cost alternative, Sun is changing the education technology market for the better--ensuring that schools have the best, affordable options available for their specific computing needs," Kim Jones, Sun's vice president of Global Education and Research, said in a statement.