Seizing the opportunity to criticise a competitor and promote its own operating system, Sun has opened up early registration for its Project Mad Hatter.
Designed to compete with Microsoft, Project Mad Hatter is being positioned by Sun as a cheaper, secure alternative desktop operating system to Microsoft's various desktop offerings. The announcement was made as the MSBlaster worm, which exploits the Microsoft OS, continues to spread.
Director of marketing for desktop solutions at Sun Microsystems, Peder Ulander, revealed that Sun's as-yet-unnamed desktop OS would be available in September at its annual SunNetwork user conference.
At that time the company wouldl reveal pricing, the name of the product, and the business model for selling it, Ulander said. He described the future OS as an "alternative enterprise desktop client" that relied on open standards and open file formats. Ulander said that the desktop client would provide all of the functions 80 per cent of enterprise employees required today.
"It is the exact same functionality at a fourth the cost, and (it) is not as vulnerable to viruses," he said.
When asked how he knew that it was not as vulnerable to viruses, Ulander explained it would have fewer holes to exploit due to the fact it was built on top of Linux.
"How (Microsoft) built their OS makes it fairly easy to exploit," Ulander said. "Virus writers can script to their macro environment."
Executive vice-president at Sun, Jonathan Schwartz, said: "Reliance on a single vendor for desktop deployments represents an Achilles heel in the safety and security of the world's network infrastructure."