Java can replace Microsoft Windows on corporate desktops now, according to Sun Microsystems' chief executive Scott McNealy, as the company expects Solaris to win corporate business and Java to run on everything else.
At the Sunsoft division?s Inside Sun Software event, McNealy said Unix vendors have the Java Virtual Machine in their environments, Apple has Java in Macintoshes and corporate desktops can do without Windows. "Windows users can use Netscape browsers or Javastations for everything. All the data and applications are on the Web," he said.
Sun customer Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management said it is using Citrix software to connect Javastation users to Windows packages such as Microsoft Word and Excel via browsers. But McNealy did not claim that corporates will abandon their Windows OSs. "I acknowledge that developers have to write for Windows and Java," he said, "but those are the clear leaders. If Microsoft uses Java code in applications that does not make them Java and they cannot use the logo."
Sunsoft also made a series of announcements aimed at providing software to enterprises; it launched the latest version of its Solaris Unix OS, revealed a version of its Solstice Enterprise Manager that will be launched next month and said its clustering technology has been endorsed by Informix, Netscape, Oracle, Sybase, Tivoli and Syntax.
It also announced the release of JavaOS 1.1 for Network Computers and JavaOS for Appliances, as the company closed its acquisition of French embedded systems developer Chorus Systems.
Sun hopes to use the enterprise tweaks to Solaris to appeal to customers who would normally choose Hewlett-Packard or IBM Unix. Solaris will contain 64-bit files, the ability to change almost all hardware components without shut down and Sun Cluster 2.0. In 1998, an upgrade will add a 64-bit kernel, systems management and a transaction processing monitor. As Sun adds RAS (reliability, availability and serviceability) in every revision, it expects a clustered file system, global networking and global device access in 1999.
Although it admits customers take few chances when buying enterprise software, Sun said it hopes its Starfire hardware will help it win business from HP and IBM, despite analysts? predictions that many companies will move to Intel and HP?s 64-bit Merced chip.
Solstice Manager 2.1 for Sparc, aimed at ISPs, will gain a Java-based API and a network topology viewer by Q1 1998, plus better RAS capability by Q4 1998. Intel support "may follow if customers demand it", Sun said. McNealy said Sun is committed to providing Intel-based Solaris and the company will support Merced, showing it will not force customers to use its own Sparc chip.
On Java, Troy Toman, marketing manager of the newly-formed Sun Embedded Systems group, announced the new versions of the JavaOS, including JavaOS for Network Computers. JavaOS for Appliances will be based on Chorus Jazz and is not 100 per cent Java as Toman admitted many appliance manufacturers want a mixed environment and access to non-Java code.
He said Sun is in discussions with palmtop and PDA manufacturers over the planned Personal JavaOS. The different types of JavaOS will cover hardware platforms including Strong ARM, Power PC and Pico Java as well as Intel and Sparc.
Sun also announced that NCR is working to tweak its Top End transaction request broker for Solaris.
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