Sun Microsystems has launched a free software initiative aimed at undercutting Microsoft in the latest battle in the web services war.
Sun plans to give away application servers for computers, the backbone software that runs custom applications necessary for web services and communicates data between applications.
The idea is that, if it succeeds, developers wooed by free software will create programs for Java-based systems, rather than Microsoft's .Net.
Marge Breya, vice president of the Sun ONE software division, said in a statement that the company wanted to cement the ascendance of Java.
"We are going after the .Net developer and deployer and the Linux community developer and deployer," she said.
"What we're really trying to do is bring together these three developer communities into a consolidated Java web services ignition, if you will."
However, Paul Morris, of New York-based analysts RisingTrends, indicated that Sun had a long way to go to convince developers that it really is interested in software.
"Sun has always seen software as a means of selling its hardware. However, developers want a lot more than that," he said.
He described the move as a spin-off from the "battle of ideology" that was taking place in the web services market.
"It is great now for users and always will be, provided one of these two giants doesn't win," warned Morris.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago