Sun offers a desktop alternative with Project Mad Hatter.
5.Aug.03--CIOs today are challenged with finding a desktop computing strategy that balances cost of ownership, the drive to mobilize the workforce, and ever more important security considerations. They're faced with having to replace their operating systems and office productivity suites faster and more cost-effectively than ever.
New features continue to be added to existing desktop systems, but are these features superfluous? Do they really help productivity? Does the new system make it easy to change out one core application for another? Does it interoperate with existing back-end systems?
CIOs need an alternative. That's where Sun Microsystems comes in. With its upcoming Linux-based desktop, Project Mad Hatter, Sun is poised to offer a solution that easily interoperates with existing environments and is based on open standards, open file formats, and open protocols--giving CIOs exactly what they asked for.
Flexible Desktop Strategy--For Less
"It's amazing how many corporate desktops are still running OS/2, Windows 95 or Windows 98, or even old NT stuff," says Peder Ulander, director of marketing for desktop software at Sun. "There just hasn't been enough significant improvement on the desktop to warrant change, and CIOs are getting frustrated at having to pay high upgrade fees nonetheless.
"The neat thing about Linux is that using technologies like Gnome, Mozilla, Java software, Evolution, and StarOffice software, we're able to give CIOs the exact functionality they want on the desktop at a cost savings of about four-to-one over a Microsoft Windows solution."
When you think about the corporate desktop, most people aren't looking for a lot of new features or new capabilities. "What they want is to maintain the same levels of productivity, and even improve them. They want their core applications available. They want a common development platform, front end to back end. But they want lower costs and they want mobility and security. They want an alternative," says Ulander.
Project Mad Hatter is the second phase in a set of desktop solutions from Sun. The first phase was StarOffice software, a full-featured office productivity suite, which has more than 20 million users and 40 million downloads and is available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and the Solaris Operating System (Solaris OS), among other platforms. Sun has also contributed much of the StarOffice software's functionality to the open source community through openoffice.org.
Available this fall, Project Mad Hatter will offer a new but familiar desktop operating platform based on Linux. A Solaris OS edition will be ready shortly thereafter. "We're integrating all these desktop components [Gnome, Mozilla, Java technology, Evolution, and the StarOffice suite] into a familiar look-and-feel to reduce retraining," says Ulander. And more important, he adds, Sun will deliver on its four-to-one value proposition using these alternatives.
Hardware choice is also important to CIOs, and Project Mad Hatter solutions are designed to run on PC desktops and laptops through OEM partnerships, as well as on thin clients delivered by Sun.
"It will run on existing PC hardware, so CIOs can upgrade at their own pace and budgets," says Ulander. "We will allow interoperability with Microsoft Office documents and allow file and print services on an existing Microsoft server infrastructure. And if you're already using a Microsoft back end, it will handle that too. It's about giving CIOs a choice."