Sun touts Java app store for billion-strong audience

Details of 'Project Vector', a Java app store, will emerge at the upcoming JavaOne conference, Sun chief Jonathan Schwartz has said
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Sun is to launch a Java application store, chief executive Jonathan Schwartz has revealed.

Currently code-named 'Project Vector' but likely to be called the Java Store, it was described by Schwartz as a "network service" that will connect companies of all sizes and types to the approximately one billion Java users found worldwide.

"Vector… has the potential to deliver the world's largest audience to developers and businesses leveraging Java and JavaFX," Schwartz wrote in a blog post on Monday. "Most folks don't think of Sun as a consumer company, and largely we're not, but our runtimes reach more consumers than just about any other company on earth."

When Oracle's takeover of Sun was announced in April, the companies said Java was the most important software Oracle has ever acquired.

Schwartz referred to deals Sun has had with search companies for the distribution of those companies' toolbars alongside Java updates, and noted how those deals had seen search traffic increase for Sun's partners while bringing in significant revenue for Sun.

"The revenues to Sun were… getting big enough for us to think about building a more formal business around Java's distribution power — to make it available to the entire Java community, not simply one or two search companies on yearly contracts," Schwartz said. "And that's what Project Vector is designed to deliver."

According to Schwartz, candidate applications will be submitted for Sun's approval via a "simple website" then presented under free or paid-for terms to the Java audience via Sun's update mechanism. Developers will bid for position on the storefront, and Sun will also charge them for distribution.

"This creates opportunity for everyone in the developer community — and specifically, for any developer (even those not using Java/JavaFX) seeking to reach beyond the browser to create a durable relationship with their customers," Schwartz said. "Remember, when apps are distributed through the Java Store, they're distributed directly to the desktop — JavaFX enables developers, businesses and content owners to bypass potentially hostile browsers."

Further details of Project Vector's business model, technology and roadmap will be made available at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco on 2 June, Schwartz said.

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