Sun Microsystems says it will makes its Java Enterprise System, N1 Management software and developer tools free and, in time open source. It will also integrate the tools with the Solaris into something called the Solaris Enterprise System, which will also be free.
The announcement came in a standard Sun press release. A check of COO Jonathan Schwartz' blog shows no entries since November 29.
Sun emphasizes that, with these announcements it is totally changing its software business model to one based on open source, deriving revenue from service and support rather than software licensing.
Schwartz talked to reporters (rather than himself), telling a conference call the move will not cut revenues, that it will help Sun reach new customers. The software Sun is releasing brought in about $100 million last year, at $140/user.
"Free is the lowest barrier to entry for acquiring a product... This is a way to get barriers to go down and revenues to go up," Sun's president Jonathan Schwartz said in a conference call. "We're going to be driving for volume first and foremost, then figuring the right service to monetise that volume."
The boldface is mine.
Assuming the Java software does go open source, it will likely be covered by Sun's CDDL license, loosely based on BSD, and an approved open source license. The CDDL allows the code to become part of a commercial product.