Sun has given up on two of its Java tools and is hunting for a tools company that will complement its recent purchase of Forte Software.
Java Workshop and Java Studio have not been upgraded for the past 18 months. Sun has dropped them in favour of pursuing a tools strategy that will offer customers a complete solution and compete with offerings from Microsoft, IBM and Inprise.
IDC analyst Sally Cusack said: "Sun has abandoned the tools. Work Shop developed server side robust code and was developed early on when Java was new as a language. It was a tool for teccies, not for the masses."
She added: "Java Studio is a Bean builder. It was not as functionally rich as Inprise's J-builder or Microsoft's Visual J++. It did not have enough bells and whistles."
Cusack believes that top of Sun's shopping list could be Symantec's Visual Café: "There are several candidates, but they could be going for a large acquisition."
Netbeans has also been rumoured as a possible Sun target.
A Sun spokesperson said: "We do not comment on rumours."
Meanwhile Sun is shipping the first beta version of Solaris 8 to about 300 key customers and ISVs.
The release, which is available for both Sparc and Intel platforms, has several new features including an improved Appcert testing tool that verifies existing Solaris applications will run unmodified on Solaris 8.
Also included are new enterprise manageability functions, networking and Java technology enhancements.
The company said that Solaris 8 "extends Sun's lead in the Unix platform market and delivers on its previously announced Solaris operating system road map."
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