Sun's billion-dollar academic boost

Sun's billion-dollar academic boost

Sun Microsystems will give away licensed copies of its Solaris operating system and StarOffice productivity suite to educational and research organisations, and provide those customers with significant discounts on the price of its Sun Ray hardware.

Based on an estimate of 100,000 academic users, Sun expects the total value of the offering to exceed $US1 billion. The Sun Education Software Portfolio will include no-cost licenses for Solaris 9, Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) Starter Kit, Sun ONE Studio, Sun ONE Web Services Development products, GNOME, and StarOffice software.

A media kit would be available for a fee that provided quarterly updates to the software, Sun said.

On the hardware side, schools and research facilities can buy Sun Ray 1 appliances for $US335, and Sun Ray 100 and 150 thin clients for $US540 and $US815, respectively.

The prices became effective today, and reflected discounts of up to 42 per cent off the regular price of that hardware, Sun said.

Educational customers would also be able to buy Sun Fire 280R servers and Sun Blade 2000 workstations at discounted prices.

The company will offer technical support and Internet-based training to students, teachers and their IT staffs through the program.

Sun announced its plans to offer StarOffice to schools and educational institutions for free last year.

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