News continues to filter out on Sun’s thin client-thick server solution. InfoWorld: InfoWorld has more:
Java, it turns out, will form an important part of Mad Hatter, and Sun’s Jonathan Schwartz emphasized its synergy with Linux. “If you think of where Java and Linux are going, they tend to go hand in hand,” said Schwartz.”They all require the infrastructure that runs on the back of the network… Linux opens up the network and makes huge applications relevant,” he said, adding that this was good for Sun’s business.
Mad Hatter desktops will use JavaCards for authentication and will include a Java virtual machine, as well as open software including the Gnome (GNU Object Model Environment) desktop interface, the Mozilla browser, the Evolution personal information manager, and the Gaim instant message client.
Mad Hatter’s JavaCard is one of the product’s “most valuable assets,” Schwartz said. Sun provides the specifications for manufacturers to make JavaCards, which are smart cards designed to run Java. Schwartz predicted that, more and more, clients and servers on the network will come to depend on the JavaCard to trust and authenticate to one another. “I expect to see every single vendor of every device that touches the network authenticating with JavaCard,” he said.
Another important Mad Hatter component will be StarOffice, Sun’s open source desktop productivity suite, which has now shipped over 40 million copies, according to Schwartz. “We think this is actually coming to a point where we’re going to have a pretty interesting market opportunity,” he said, adding that Sun had now signed up over 60 OEMs to distribute the software.
Mad Hatter’s official launch will happen at Sun’s SunNetwork conference in San Francisco, which begins on Sept. 16, Schwartz said. He predicted that Sun’s desktop will cost 80 to 90 percent less than a Microsoft desktop, in a press conference after his keynote.