"Sun and Google have set the stage for something that is developing over time," predicted Jean Bozman, research vice president at analyst firm IDC.
The toolbar adds a menu to a web browser that allows users to search the web, and offers services including translation and spell checking.
With 20 million monthly downloads of Sun's JRE, Google expects the number of toolbar deployments to increase dramatically. Google will pay Sun for the bundled downloads.
Although both companies hinted that the deal is merely the beginning of a partnership that could further develop over time, they remained extremely vague when it came to details.
Bundling the two products increases the appeal of both the Google Toolbar and the JRE. As Java becomes ubiquitous, software developers will be able to take the language for granted and start creating more applications for the platform.
"Once you get into this Java layer, you can have any number of operating systems," Bozman told vnunet.com. "The next step is to start offering applications as a service."
It would be logical for Google to start offering a hosted version of the OpenOffice productivity suite, for example.
Some analysts had expected the search provider to announce such a product on Tuesday, but a statement from the two companies mentioned only that Google would "explore opportunities" to promote OpenOffice.
Schmidt ducked a question at the event about his plans for the productivity suite. "We will work to make the distribution of [OpenOffice] become broader. We are not announcing specifics," he said.
- Pictures from the Google and Sun press conference can be seen here.
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