The Register reports on some interesting plans that Sun has for its Java Desktop System based on Linux:
Well placed sources have confirmed that Sun is teaming up with service providers to roll out a whole new set of “rented” desktop services…Sun is batting around the idea of teaming with service providers to rent out applications such as StarOffice and also hardware such as online storage. The service provider could theoretically ship a thin client or white box to a consumer and then charge for various products. Do you want browsing, StarOffice and storage? Well, that’s x dollars per month.
The idea is to offer cheap computers to certain types of customers who essentially rent the system. The service provider could manage the servers in its own data center. By shipping something like a thin client that has relatively few parts, the service provider and hardware maker reduce the risk of hardware failures.
Sun could then offer up a type of rent-a-blade product to either the service provider or end user. Customers would purchase storage space for their documents, photos and music.
On a related note, Dana Blankenhorn has a cool idea for getting Linux on the desktop to take-off: “One great game that requires it. A DVD, one that doesn’t run on Windows, which has a great game that you play online, is the kind of offer that will sell the whole bundle.”