Sun flaunts free software to woo clients

In yet another ploy to attract enterprise customers, Sun Microsystems has decided to package a huge bundle of developer tools and middleware as the Solaris Enterprise System, anchored by the Solaris OS. And, just like Solaris itself, the entire stack is now free.

The intention is to increase volume through the free distribution of these products and then build revenue through selling related support, services, and Sun hardware. Sun sees its platform as a robust alternative to Windows.

“I think we’ve seen consistently that volume wins in the marketplace,” said Sun President/COO Jonathan Schwartz.

Solaris Enterprise System features Solaris 10 with the PostgreSQL database; Java Enterprise System, including identity management and integration software from the recent SeeBeyond acquisition; N1 management software, featuring service provisioning and Sun’s grid engine; tools for C, C++, and Java development such as Sun Studio 11 and Sun Java Studio Creator; SunRay thin-client software; and Sun Secure Global Desktop Service.

Sun’s move was described as “pretty radical” by Shawn Willett, an analyst at Current Analysis.

“This will have the most effect on integration and portal markets, where there [are] not really good open source products on the market,” Willett said.

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