Sun pushes Java software with new pricing

Sun Microsystems has released two bundled packages of Java software - one for desktops and one for servers.

Sun Microsystems has released two bundled packages of Java software - one for desktops and one for servers.

Sun's Java Enterprise System, a package of tightly bundled server software, is available now for $100 per employee. It includes Sun's products such as application server, directory server, portal server.

Sun also released its Java Desktop System, a suite of open-source products designed to compete with Microsoft's Windows and Office software. The desktop system includes a version of Linux, the Mozilla web browser and Sun's StarOffice productivity suite. It is also priced at $100 per employee, or $50 for customers who also buy the Enterprise System.

Sun said that businesses with fewer than 100 employees can download the Java Enterprise System for free, minus any services and technical support.

The company also announced pricing of $1,000 per processor for embedded OEMs (original equipment makers) and independent software suppliers, who it hopes will bundle the software with their products.

Businesses will also be able to buy the Java Desktop System for half price if they buy it before 2 June.

Sun said its Java Enterprise System is less complex to use and maintain than software from other suppliers, because the products have been tightly integrated and are upgraded all together each quarter. 

Sun added that businesses could also save money under the per-employee pricing system, which is based on a company's total headcount.

The Java Enterprise System is available for Solaris running on Sun's Sparc chips and on x86 chips from Intel and AMD.

Next year it will be offered on Linux and Windows, which should also help proliferate the use of the products.

James Niccolai writes for IDG News Service

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