At the top of the company's wish list are a hosted desktop system, hosted developer tools and a offering for application service providers that wish to offer their service through Sun's server pool, according to executive vice president Robert Youngjohns who heads up the company's utility efforts.
The desktop solution will deliver a fully functional desktop including common applications such as a word processor, browser and email application. All users need is a thin client connected to the internet.
The offering would be based on Sun's existing line of SunRay thin clients, Youngjohns told vnunet.com. He expects availability later this year. Pricing has not yet been determined, but would be around $1 per employee per month, he said.
Sun does not want to be in the hosted client business, but is being forced to do this because providers refuse to launch any offering of their own, according to Youngjohns.
"The thin client is what really agitates me," he said. "Service providers are interested, but it does not rise to the top [of their priority list]. I have to irritate the market into doing this."
In addition to enterprise users, the service can be targeted at consumers who order it through their internet providers.
Sun also plans to offer a full set of Java development tools, including its Java Studio Creator, as an online service. It will be released later this year and mostly caters to small software development firms.
The service mimics how Salesforce.com sells its suite of CRM software. "This is a very quick way to get a complete development environment," Youngjohns said.
Sun lastly plans to offer a service targeted at application service providers where Sun hosts the actual application. The application will run in a specialised "container" that Sun provides to the ASP.
Sun launched its grid utility network last February, when the company started selling computing cycles at a rate of $1 per CPU hour, as well as 1GB of storage for $1 per month.
To deliver the service, Sun has built a worldwide grid of thousands of servers. There are no technical restrictions to the services that the company can add, Youngjohns said. The premier obstacle is getting the resources to do so.
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