Sun looks for users running rival OSes

Java Enterprise System server middleware now supports Windows and HP-UX and Sun has a new plan to expand its Java Desktop System to more Linux flavors.

Joris Evers Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Joris Evers covers security.
Joris Evers
3 min read
A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.
SAN FRANCISCO--Sun Microsystems on Wednesday is expected to announce that its Java Enterprise System software now supports Microsoft's Windows and Hewlett-Packard's UX operating systems.

JES--a suite of enterprise server software--already runs on Sun's Solaris 10 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Support for Windows and HP-UX was originally due in the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, Sun won't add JES support for IBM's AIX. "If we saw demand for that we would do it. We have not seen demand," John Loiacono, executive vice president of software at Sun, said Tuesday in a meeting with reporters here. The company had suggested in the past that it might deliver AIX support at the same time as Windows and HP-UX support.

Sun sells six JES suites, five of which are priced at $50 per user per year. For all those five, the company charges $140 per user per year. Bundling options for the sixth suite--a SeeBeyond software integration suite--have not been determined. The suites include an application server along with collaboration and identity management software.

Sun is proud of the software's sales pace, Loiacono said.

"We are rapidly approaching 1 million subscribers," he said. Wednesday's announcement is for JES version 4, which was actually been made available last week, he said.

The expanded operating system support is one of several examples of Sun branching out from Solaris. Windows support starts with Windows 2000, and a Windows Server 2003 version is due in 90 days, Sun said.

Linux desktop play
Additionally Sun is looking to expand the reach of its Java Desktop System software to cover more flavors of Linux. Sun has a new "JDS partners program" for Linux makers, which it hopes will bring the desktop software suite to Linux versions such as Gentoo, Yellow Dog, Red Hat and SuSE.

Previously the company had moved away from efforts to sell JDS on Linux and focused on Solaris.

JDS includes the GNOME desktop environment, StarOffice productivity suite, Mozilla Web browser, Evolution mail and calendar client, and Java 2 Platform Standard Edition to run Java applications. Sun today offers JDS on Solaris, on a variant of SuSE's Linux and on its Sun Ray thin clients.

"We want to expand our play in that area and want to make it prolific on all desktop distributions," Loiacono said. There are no commitments yet from Linux providers, but Sun is close to striking some deals, he said.

Solaris 10 momentum
While adding support for rival operating systems, Sun also sees momentum for its own Solaris 10. Since its release at the end of January, Solaris 10 has been licensed to run on 3 million computers, the company said.

"This has been the fastest adoption of our software in the history of our company," said Tom Goguen, vice president of operating platforms at Sun.

More than 534 systems from various hardware makers support Solaris 10, Sun said. The company has submitted the operating system for a high-level Common Criteria security certification, which is required by some industries.

While there was a special "Trusted Solaris 8" version that offered more security, that won't be the case with Solaris 10, Sun said. Instead, the main version will be certified, but only for two Common Criteria profiles compared to three for Trusted Solaris.

"It is more than just for spooks now; these are the same features that you need to bring your enterprise in compliance," Goguen said.

Correction: The article initially misstated the last certified version of the Solaris operating system.