Sun Microsystems yesterday unleashed a plethora of web software products aimed squarely at Microsoft's .Net platform, but some analysts criticised the company for being late to the market.
Sun said its Open Net Environment, or "Sun ONE", will enable developers to build basic components and link them with services from existing applications. The software includes a development environment and an infrastructure platform based on the company's iPlanet application server.
Scott McNealy, Sun's chairman and chief executive, said: "We're on the brink of an explosion of services that will flourish in this free market and bring simpler, easier, smarter services to every man, woman and child."
But Peter O'Kelly, an analyst with the Patricia Seybold Group, believes the company has lagged behind its competitors in announcing rival platforms to the Microsoft .Net initiative. "Sun has a lot at stake with web services -it's the last major vendor to publicise its web services strategy," he said.
Oracle unveiled its range of internet services last year, while IBM's Application Framework for ebusiness has been available for almost a year, added O'Kelly.
Sun's new software includes the iPlanet Directory, plus server software for hosting web applications, portals, commerce and communications. Also featured is Webtop, which enables developers to create customised interfaces for a range of devices, as well as iPlanet Commerce Solution, which combines e-procurement, selling and billing software.
Ed Zander, Sun president and chief operating officer, said: "With a $3bn investment in software and over 10,000 employees dedicated to software development and support, Sun ONE provides software developers and customers with the best technology and products to be competitive on the net."
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