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Sun broadens Linux backing

Sun broadens Linux backing

Sun Microsystems will adopt commonly known Linux distributions for deployment on a range of Intel-based systems it is planning and will no longer offer its Sun Linux distribution.

The company soon will have arrangements with two or three of the top Linux distributors, Sun vice-president of operating systems, John Loiacono, said. He would not name the vendors, but Sun officials acknowledged Red Hat and SuSE Linux as leading Linux vendors.

"There will not be Sun Linux as you know it, meaning taking the standard distribution and modifying it," Loiacono said.

Sun also will expand its x86-based hardware arsenal for running Linux. Sun now offers its x86-based LX50 server, which runs Linux or Sun's own Solaris OS.

"We will have a portfolio of x86 hardware," said Loiacono.

Sun executive vice-president of software, Jonathan Schwartz, hailed the company's upcoming Project Orion as a way to "sling an arrow through the heart of complexity."

Project Orion is intended to provide for a single package featuring Solaris as well as other Sun products such as the Sun ONE application, directory and Web and portal servers.

Orion, which ships later this year, also will be delivered on Linux.

Sun also plans to integrate Orion-based application with the J2ME (Java 2 Platform Micro Edition) platform, which covers consumer systems ranging from smart cards and pagers to set-top boxes, according to Sun.

Also, Schwartz called Microsoft's Smartphone strategy "an abysmal failure," while praising Java on phones. "We think the success of Java on the handset is going to continue," he said.

Schwartz, acknowledging Sun's election this week to the board of the directors of the Web Services Interoperability Organisation (WS-I), pledged that Sun would be the first to market with a WS-I Basic Profile based on J2EE. The WSI Basic Profile is intended to provide an industry profile for building Web services using SOAP, WSDL and UDDI.

Schwartz said IBM and Hewlett-Packard were essentially abandoning Unix, especially on 32-bit systems. This presented a consolidation opportunity for Sun.

Meanwhile, vice-president of Sun One Java Web services, Mark Bauhaus, said the company with its new certification program for open source Java developers had extended an opportunity to JBoss to certify its Java application server as J2EE-compliant.

"We’ve offered JBoss the opportunity to make sure their implementation is fully compatible," Bauhaus said. "The ball is in their court."

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