Sun, AOL/Netscape alliance ends

After three years of alliance with AOL Time Warner/Netscape Communications, Sun Microsystems has officially taken the iPlanet...

After three years of alliance with AOL Time Warner/Netscape Communications, Sun Microsystems has officially taken the iPlanet infrastructure and e-commerce applications division under its corporate wing.

In an e-mail to customers last week, Sun chief executive officer and president Scott McNealy said the transition had been planned from the start of the alliance and means that Sun will solidify iPlanet as a core component of its Open Net Environment software platform.

Under the deal, iPlanet workers will now be employees of Sun.

IPlanet E-Commerce Solutions began as an alliance between Sun and Netscape to develop a software platform for the creation and delivery of Web services.

"The alliance has been a remarkable success," McNealy said. "Sun and AOL committed substantial resources to achieve the alliance mission, and our employees have worked side by side to build and support world-class software products."

The alliance officially ended as of yesterday under the agreement between the companies.

Sun spokeswoman Jennifer Doettling said the move to a Sun-controlled iPlanet was part of the alliance's original strategy. "It was always intended that the relationship would end at the end of three years," Doettling said. "We're moving full speed ahead as a division of Sun now."

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