Sun Microsystems will begin selling Java and JavaFX applications once beta testing of its new Java Store has been completed.
Sun chief executive Jonathan Schwartz and Java creator James Gosling introduced the concept at the JavaOne conference, saying that the system would consist of a store to buy the applications, and a Java Warehouse where applications could be stored and sold on other portals.
"The objective is very simple: to give Java developers access to a billion consumers," said Schwartz. "It solves the problem of how you get access to every customer in the world."
The Java Store is live in beta format and is carrying only free applications. It is available to US customers at present, but will be offered in other countries next year and will carry paid-for applications.
The ability to let developers make money from their applications is key, said Gosling, with a dig at some in the open source community.
"How do you turn the cool thing you've built into food on the table?" he asked. "If you're going to be a Linux programmer in the desktop world you've got to take a vow of poverty; it's an act of love."
Software installation from the Java Store has been made easy by a simple drag-and-drop procedure, and all applications will be tested to minimise crashes.
In a surprise at the end of the keynote, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison made an appearance and gave a brief talk to reassure developers of his commitment to Java.
"Java was a very attractive platform for us because it was open and it allowed us to extend the platform," he said.
"Our whole next generation of business applications, something we call the Fusion suite, is built entirely on Java. We think it's going to be very attractive to our customers and to the community."
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