Services & Software

Sun: More PC makers warm to Java

After signing similar deals with Dell and HP earlier this year, Sun announces that several other PC makers will begin shipping machines loaded with its Java software.

After signing similar deals with Dell and Hewlett-Packard earlier this year, Sun Microsystems announced Tuesday that several other PC makers will begin shipping machines loaded with its Java software.

The distribution agreements with Acer, Gateway, Samsung, Toshiba and Tsinghua Tongfang are designed to help Sun circumvent rival Microsoft's unwillingness to supply the PC market with Java, a programming language and its supporting software. While Microsoft's Windows remains the dominant operating system in PCs today, it is thought that the presence of Java in more computers will reduce the importance of Windows as a foundation for other programs. Microsoft has been fighting to remove the technology from Windows XP.

Sun estimates that the new PC distribution deals will help push the latest version of Java to more than 50 percent of desktop PCs.

"We're really looking to increase awareness with consumers," said Ingrid Van Den Hoogen, director of strategic marketing at Sun. "That's why we've been going directly to PC manufacturers; consumers need to know they are getting the latest version of Java, which they definitely aren't getting from Windows."

Van Den Hoogen said Sun will announce similar deals with more PC makers in the coming months. Sun also will launch its "Java everywhere" campaign with manufacturers of devices such as cell phones, medical equipment and computer printers, she said.

Both Acer and Gateway agreed to distribute Java on their upcoming desktop and notebook models. Samsung said it will ship Java on a range of business and consumer desktop and notebook PCs, starting in December. Toshiba announced support for Java in its entire line of notebook computers. And Tsinghua, China's third largest PC maker, becomes the first company specifically licensed to bring the software to that country for PCs.

In June, HP said that it would start incorporating Java in PCs during the third quarter and that it expected to have the software installed across its entire desktop and laptop line within about a year. Dell announced plans to ship Java on all desktops, laptops and workstations by the end of 2003.

Apple Computer also loads Java software on its machines.