Sun to ship Orion beta in coming weeks

Sun Microsystems will announce the first beta of its Project Orion software package at the end of this month or early August,...

Sun Microsystems will announce the first beta of its Project Orion software package at the end of this month or early August, with the final product scheduled to ship before the end of the year.

Project Orion is the codename for Sun's plan to bundle its various software products with its Solaris operating system. The package will include all of Sun's infrastructure products such as the Sun One (Open Net Environment) Web Server, Application Server and server management products. IBM and Microsoft offer competing packages.

With Project Orion, Sun will ship all of its key software products packaged in synchronised quarterly releases, relieving customers of the hassle of dealing with many applications and their update schedules and licensing schemes.

Sun is expected to go into more detail when it announces the beta and when it holds its Sun Network user conference in September in San Francisco. The anticipated details include pricing, packaging and the official name of beta.

Analysts have said Sun is looking at aggressive per-employee pricing of between $100 (£61) and $200 for the software bundle. A source close to Sun indicated earlier that the supplier could offer different product and licence structures for different uses, for example for data centre and development environments.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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