Sun exec denies Linux desktop retreat

Reports of the death of Sun Microsystems' Java Desktop System with Linux are exaggerated, says its chief software executive.Sun's executive vice president of software, John Loiacono, claimed he was misinterpreted in reports he had told the recent JavaOne conference Sun would be reducing its emphasis on selling its Java Desktop System (JDS) in combination with Linux.

Reports of the death of Sun Microsystems' Java Desktop System with Linux are exaggerated, says its chief software executive.

Sun's executive vice president of software, John Loiacono, claimed he was misinterpreted in reports he had told the recent JavaOne conference Sun would be reducing its emphasis on selling its Java Desktop System (JDS) in combination with Linux.

"We remain fully committed to JDS," he wrote in his blog this week. "The point I made that caused the stir is that you will see us begin to emphasise JDS on Solaris and SunRay 'even more'."

JDS is based on the open source GNOME desktop environment and is used internally by most of Sun's 42,000 users. However the company has experienced problems selling it to corporate desktops, where Microsoft's Windows remains entrenched.

Loiacono said although his company had primarily focused on JDS on the Linux platform in the past, a renewed interest in its Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems had generated "a commensurate increase in interest in JDS on those platforms".

"Further, with the closing of our Tarantella acquisition last week, we have also dramatically improved our ability to deliver a full function JDS thin client solution," he said, adding this product could run on the Windows, Linux, Solaris, mainframe or even AS/400 platforms.

"JDS is alive and well," Loiacono maintained, citing the impending third release of the system which "should appear in the calendar Q3 time frame" and deliver "improved functionality, performance and usability".

"It's enough to get your mojo rising."

One proponent of JDS on Solaris is Sun desktop engineer Glynn Foster, who several weeks ago proposed the genesis of a community of developers to integrate JDS more tightly with Sun's OpenSolaris operating system. OpenSolaris is the fruit of Sun's efforts to release the code behind Solaris to the community.

One of Foster's admitted aims was to disprove doubt about OpenSolaris being ready to be used on desktop systems.

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