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Sun Microsystems Software

Sun Tries Subscription Software Pricing 246

Sequoia writes "According to this article, 'The company's new pricing model for its systems will be based on a company's employee count, as declared in a company's annual filings with government regulators. Sun will charge $100 an employee for a single package that includes an application server, a Web portal and security software, among other components -- all of which Sun executives say will work together in a more integrated fashion than they did previously.'" Sun's press information is a little more informative.
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Sun Tries Subscription Software Pricing

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  • Free Reg, nooo! (Score:2, Informative)

    Sun to Introduce New Pricing Strategy for Its Software
    By LAURIE J. FLYNN

    SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 15 -- Sun Microsystems, a supplier of network computers, will announce on Tuesday a new approach to selling its products and software. The company, whose network computers are based on proprietary technology, has been losing business in recent years to servers based on lower-priced personal computers.

    Its executives hope that the new strategy -- substantially reducing the price of Sun's network software for many cu
    • I found this article on CNN. I think anything that cuts in on Microsofts business is a good thing. SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- In a move aimed squarely at Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. on Tuesday will unveil a suite of software for businesses that want to dump -- or just can't afford -- the Windows operating system on their companies' desktop computers. The Sun Java Desktop system, which was formerly code-named Mad Hatter, runs on the open-source Linux operating system and includes a variety of p
  • Sun needs your mon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChaoticChaos ( 603248 ) * <l3sr-v4cfNO@SPAMspamex.com> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:29PM (#6977221)
    Although I hate to pay another fee, it's ridiculous that Sun can't make some money from all the Java development that goes on. Heaven knows their stock needs the influx of cash.
  • OMG! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:30PM (#6977231)
    This is horrible! It will never work! This is the worst thing to hap....oh wait, you said Sun, didn't you? Thought it was MS, never mind, my bad. ;)
    • Re:OMG! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Schwartzboy ( 653985 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:40PM (#6977368)

      Thought it was MS, never mind, my bad. ;)

      Okay, okay, just RTFB (blurb) already. Not only does it refer to "Sun", which is a bringer of light and all things good and shiny, which is obviously anti-MS, but the /. blurb also claims that the licensing is $100 per employee. If it were an MS strategy, there'd be some extra zeroes...either that, or it'd be $150 per to start and $100 per "essential patch", plus complete ownership of any and all works produced by any users, authorized or not, while using the system. Duh.
      Seriously, this doesn't seem like such a horrendous idea in and of itself, but I wonder if there are any companies x such that y number of users within the organization will not want to/be able to switch, or be required to run, say, Mac OSX on lime-green iThingies because they're tied to some Mac-only apps. Would companies still be charged per-employee in that case? Still a very good deal I'd argue, if said employees were in a significant minority, but some CTO out there might not like his $50K quarterly bonus being eaten into to the tune of $699...er, $700 for that handful of marketing drones. I'm sure that a question like this will pop up eventually, or not.
      • Re:OMG! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JWW ( 79176 )
        No for large companies its hundreds of dollars per machine. They just count up the PCs and send the bill. $100 per machine would be a steal (over a 50% discount) for large companies dealing with enterprise licensing from Microsoft.
      • Re:OMG! (Score:3, Insightful)

        Oh and this is good that it is "only" a $100 per employee? I can only presume the press release hasn't got the full details but let me paint a horror picture here.

        Say I run a labor intensive production process that somewhere runs a small sun server to keep track of some data. Now a big factory like say a food processing plant can easily have a thousand + workers. Does that make for a 100.000 license fee? Each and every year? Ouch.

        You see I doubt this. And those type of setups probably will be allowed to u

        • Re:OMG! (Score:3, Informative)

          by elmegil ( 12001 )
          Keep in mind that it appears to cover more than just 'license fees'. The announce I saw mentioned service contracts as well. Go find a service quote from Sun and see how it compares to that $100,000.
    • You're kidding of course, but your comment struck a nerve with me. Not about MS-bashing or favoritism or anything....but on pricing and fees and upgrades in general.

      I mean, my god. I don't want to sign up for your licensing "program", I don't want your subscription-complete-with-forced-upgrade crap. I just want to buy your software. I have X users, and this is the product I want. How much? Seems like such a simple question, yet it takes a "sales team" to fly to my site and interview me and my staff t
    • Here's a new strategy:

      Stop hiding behind the license-to-use crap and admit that software is a product. Make it do what it is advertised to do and what is described in the manual. If it has bugs, fix them at no cost to the customer. Then charge a fair price for the product and provide the support necessary for people to use it.

      You don't see Chrysler telling people that their minivans may crash for no reason and that Chrysler is not liable for damages. Boeing doesn't disclaim all warranties for the fitn
      • Here's a new strategy:

        Stop hiding behind the license-to-use crap and admit that software is a product. Make it do what it is advertised to do and what is described in the manual. If it has bugs, fix them at no cost to the customer. Then charge a fair price for the product and provide the support necessary for people to use it.


        If you'd watched the lauch today, you would know that's pretty much exactly what Sun is proposing. Scott said as much directly when he pointed out that quality of most existing so
  • by stev3 ( 640425 ) <{sasper} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:30PM (#6977238) Homepage Journal
    I think it would be great if a company would set a flat rate per-child for public and/or private schools. Ex: $300 per student for (x) amount of machines, (x) software licenses, (x) amount of time with support and upgrades.

    I think a lot of school districts would jump at this idea because it will give them a total cost, instead of having to "guesstimate" at what all the hardware will cost, and the number of people they would have to hire to support systems etc.

  • Fire everybody and hire them back as paid consultants!
    • Re:Easy solution? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yintercept ( 517362 )
      Adding an extra hundred dollars on to the price of hiring employees will increase the disincentive for hiring employees. The US Tax and Workers' Comp systems are renown for heaping disincentives on hiring. By heaping all sorts of costs onto hiring people, the US economy does a great job of making the process of hiring people painful. I am surprised that companies still do it.

      The pricing model will be great for companies with extremely heavy information needs. It will be lousy for companies that hire a lar
      • I always hate these pricing models that are based on something different than what is being sold because they tend to create an inequity

        Sun does business on every populated continent. I would hope they know how to avoid alienating foreign customers. I think Scott McNealy said half their business is international, which would be even greater incentive to not alienate them.
  • I think Sun may be one of the last companies to realiza that giving a product away doesn't make you any money. I work for Sun, and let me tell you, they are a great bunch of engineers. However, their ability to turn those awesome engineering projects into cash is limited at best. Perhaps if they start charging some serious money for stuff, then things will change. Let's hope that Sun can get back on track!
    • by tedgyz ( 515156 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:58PM (#6977543) Homepage
      Ummmm. The last time we tried to buy some Sun servers, they were pretty freakin' expen$ive! If you aren't turning a profit off $1M systems, then you have too much dead-weight. That's what happened to DEC - too many chiefs and not enough rowers.
    • by ad0gg ( 594412 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:00PM (#6977558)
      This is slashdot, people are supposed to mod when people say anything about charging for software. Everything should be free, we'll all suppose make our living doing support for the software.
      • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <info@nOsPam.devinmoore.com> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:09PM (#6977661) Homepage Journal
        Required response: That would work, except I don't want to support software, I just want to write it and then run far, far away. :)
      • This is slashdot, people are supposed to mod when people say anything about charging for software. Everything should be free, we'll all suppose make our living doing support for the software.

        Case in point :)

        Moderation +2
        100% Funny

      • This is slashdot, people are supposed to mod when people say anything about charging for software. Everything should be free, we'll all suppose make our living doing support for the software.

        [flame]No, actually, according to Stallman's stated position, we're supposed to all work for tips as waiters and give software away. It's not clear if even charging for support is permissible in the FSF's thinking, since that would involve putting money and software in the same context, something that apparently m
    • Screw $100 bucks a user.... If I spend $500,000 on a server with the hardware to support 4000 users, I damn sure dont want to spend another 400,000 dollars on licensing (basically nothing, air, a slip of paper). When I have to spend 300 bucks on a frikin XP Operating system, and THEN get a license just to access the server, something there is wrong (psst.. its called GREED)
      • by pmz ( 462998 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:36PM (#6977929) Homepage
        If I spend $500,000 on a server with the hardware to support 4000 users, I damn sure dont want to spend another 400,000 dollars on licensing (basically nothing, air, a slip of paper).

        Er, you just provided for a 4000 employee company with under a million dollars of hardware and software. What is your complaint, again?
        • Er, you just provided for a 4000 employee company with under a million dollars of hardware and software. What is your complaint, again?

          No, I provided for a SERVER. Now I get the joy of spending $270 or so for a operating system for each PC...

          The point is that those kind of charges are rediculous. The cost to the vendor is a whole frikin 60 cents to burn a CD and about 3 - 5 bucks worth of printed manuals (if they dont go cheap and bundle them on CD for 'easy access') It isnt costing a vendor any mor
          • by pmz ( 462998 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @02:06PM (#6978191) Homepage
            No, I provided for a SERVER. Now I get the joy of spending $270 or so for a operating system for each PC...

            You forego that $270 by choosing Linux or, now, Sun's Java Desktop ($50/employee above server costs).

            The whole point to what Sun is doing is removing Microsoft almost entirely from the equation while putting Sun in at a lower cost. It is actually about time for a solid competitor to come forward to put Microsoft into place.

            We will know Sun was successful when Microsoft lowers their pricing to match. So, if you choose, you can still get Windows XP--but for 1/3 the price!

            The cost to the vendor is a whole frikin 60 cents to burn a CD

            You are forgetting the R&D investment for the contents of that CD.

            It isnt costing a vendor any more to have more end users access their server once its at the customer site, so why the hell do they think they are entitled to more cash?!!?

            It's a licensing scheme that Sun is betting some customers will find acceptible. The key word is "bet". There is no risk-free move in business, but I think Sun is putting forth a good effort, regardless.

          • Actually, just put StarOffice and MadHatter on your desktops, and you've got a supported corporate solution for both desktop & server software for $100 per employee. You still need to buy the hardware. But I think that's pretty competitive, all things considered. You can't get an MS-based solution consisting of MS Office, Windows, Exchange, and .NET for anywhere near that price.
      • by anonymous loser ( 58627 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @02:09PM (#6978217)
        If I spend $500,000 on a server with the hardware to support 4000 users, I damn sure dont want to spend another 400,000 dollars on licensing (basically nothing, air, a slip of paper).

        And that's why you're not an IT manager. You see, hardware is pretty damn useless without the appropriate software to run on it. There are 2 ways to get that software:

        • Write it yourself - a great idea except you have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to do this, as well as pay all those developers to continue supporting the software for as long as it's being used. Oh, and while it's being initially developed, of course, you're still stuck with lumps of useless hardware even though you're shelling out tens of thousands of dollars every month to develop something that will run on it.
        • Buy or lease software from a commercial vendor, like Sun. Unlike the IT manager, they have more than one customer that wants this kind of software. So, their development and support costs are amortized, and they can charge less per user than it costs you to develop and support it internally. And there's also the added benefit of having all those employees that would have been stuck developing your internal application now being free to work on more useful things, like whatever products your company actually sells.
        I guess the other "option" is hoping that there is already an open source/free project that exactly matches your company's needs. There aren't too many of those that I am aware of, aside from the major OS projects (i.e. Linux), Apache, Samba, and a few development tools. And many companies do take advantage of these projects when they exist. But most of the time such a project does not exist, and you're stuck with the options I've outlined above.
        • Ahh, but I am an IT manager. And We just rolled out LTSP running on a RedHat server, remote booting 40 PC's in our operations dept. Ya know what I paid for software? They are all running Mochasoft through Wine (200 bucks for a site license) to access the AS400, they use Ximian Desktop with Ximian Evolution to access email. Life is good. I guess these big software vendors are going to have to recognize that when you can get it for free, $100 aint cheap any more. :P
    • "Perhaps if they start charging some serious money for stuff, then things will change."

      Indeed, things would change a great deal. They would be ignored completely.

      Paperclips are ubiquitous because they are virtually free, as well as useful.

      Ferraris? Well, there are fewer of them than paperclips and the company has teetered on the verge of financial disaster since its inception. Only Agnelli money has kept them alive at all.

      Lots of Skoda shitboxes running around though.

      If paperclips were gold plated and
      • Statement to make sure I don't get sued: My opinion does not reflect the views and opinions of Sun, or of other Sun employees.
        • That's ok. I am not my job, nor am I my employer (well, ok, I am, but you get the point).

          I take it for granted that the same applies to you.

          KFG
        • This is Slashdot.
          With or without disclaimers, only the postings of astroturfers connote any expression of the views of anyone else. This is a discussion forum. That I express a view does not necessarily even imply that I hold that view. It certainly does not imply that anyone else holds that view. I am not speaking for Slashdot, but I've been hanging around for a while and the above is my considered opinion based on what I have observed.
      • by dublin ( 31215 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @02:07PM (#6978196) Homepage
        If Sun wishes to make money the very first thing they have to do is make a true and honest assessment on the state of the market and their place in it.

        For all the brilliant minds that Sun has had under their roof over the years this is the one thing that they seem completely unable to do.


        Believe me, they have. I just finished watching the live video of MacNealy and Scwhartz describing the new setup, and let me tell you - it is compelling.

        Not only is it significantly cheaper than the Microsoft alternative, but Sun is rolling up absolutely all the network services enterprises really need into the deal - no piecemeal approach, no more wondering if this app server is compatible with that version of the mail backbone or whatever version of the operating system. Everything is integrated and tested to work together as a complete integrated, secure, and reliable system - desktops and servers, Linux or Solaris - it will just work. (And yes, I actually think they can pull this off - they already have most of the pieces in place, so it really just takes focus and execution. Focus is now a given - I'll reserve judgment on execution...)

        This is the way we *should* have been doing IT for years, but no, we still spend way too much of our time doing system administration and in-house integration just to get the basics running.

        Sun's approach will dramatically cut the cost of providing the basic infrastructure services that are the foundation for the interesting stuff. Garden variety systems administration *should* go away - and smart companies will see the potential to cast off the expensive shackles of today's current environment for a far more affordable and open future.

        Anyone who believes in the strength of the network approach to delivering services can only applaud Sun's announcement today - I wish them the best in the market. This is an idea whose time has come, and it is definitely the way that Linux will start to make inroads against Microsoft in real-world business environments. Linux alone had no chance - Linux with Solaris, a complete set of services, all for a very affordable price, can hardly lose.
    • Allow me to amend my previous comment. I meant no disrespect to Sun, but I was referring specifically to Sun's giving away of the JAVA JVM, as well as StarOffice, as missed revenue opportunities. While I see the huge opportunity to gain adoption by many users, I believe personally that charging some money for those things would have been a good idea.
      Thanks for understanding
  • by jbellis ( 142590 ) * <jonathan@NOsPaM.carnageblender.com> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:32PM (#6977260) Homepage
    We're all familiar with a certain Redmond-based company's efforts to extort more money from corporate desktop clients with a strategy like this. But, if you read the article, Sun isn't forcing you into this if you don't think it makes sense for you:
    Mr. Loiacono said Sun would continue to sell individual pieces of the server package, but that most companies would reap big savings from what he called the "happy meal" approach.

    Sun's pricing strategy moves away from the common industry method that typically considers complex factors like the number of network processors, a network's storage capacity and even the size of a company's customer base. Those many variables can make it hard for any corporation to predict what its software licensing fee will be in a given quarter, Mr. Loiacono said. Sun's all-in-one pricing, he noted, gives corporate customers more predictability.

    • "Extort?"

      Explain exactly how it is extortion whatsoever.
      • he's referring to vendor lock-in, which in turn leads to screwed up policies like Licensing 6.0, which provide a meager product for outrageous prices, and saying that this new Sun strategy is quite dissimilar. I'm sure there are dozens of people on slashdot who would be glad to rattle off the reason s they despise Licensing 6.0, but I'm not one of them since I don't use Windows and as such I don't really care. Notice that this Sun plan gives a lot all together,
  • It figures... (Score:2, Informative)

    by bersl2 ( 689221 )
    This [doubleclick.net] ad is all over Slashdot today.
  • All Employees (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RazzleFrog ( 537054 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:33PM (#6977281)
    What's interesting is that it is based on the number of employees per the company's annual report and not based on actual users. I would imagine that companies with large workforces that don't actually go anywhere near a computer would lose out on a deal like this. Manufacturing companies come to mind. I work for a company of 1700 employees. That means $170,000 in license fees. Anybody know what that would hav translate to under the old scheme?
    • Yeah, something like $1.2 million in dog dollars.
    • Re:All Employees (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OscarGunther ( 96736 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:51PM (#6977481) Journal
      I would imagine that companies with large workforces that don't actually go anywhere near a computer would lose out on a deal like this.

      No problem. Companies in your scenario would opt to use traditional pricing instead. Sun is making a statement about its desired role in the IT food chain (as an integrator), without relinquishing its position as a parts supplier.

      I can see how headcount pricing would encourage a company to move everyone onto the platform. As long as you're paying for it, why not have everyone use it and bring down the per-seat cost as close to $100 as possible? And the price point presumably undercuts Microsoft's bundle. So, IT wins by reducing the cost of infrastructure and Sun wins by increasing revenue and market share.

      Anyway, that's Sun's story. It's true, as someone else noted, that a Linux integrator can offer the same stack for $100 per seat less than Sun. I imagine Sun's response would be that (1) they're stack is better integrated than the comparable Linux stack and (2) they don't have an ulterior motive in trying to sell you consulting services for support. (Those of you who deal with Sun can tell me if the latter point is accurate.)

      • Re:All Employees (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dubiousdave ( 618128 )
        Sun gets quite a bit of revenue from their support contracts. IIRC, in my last job, the company paid something on the order of a quarter million dollars for platinum level support on the primary cluster and lesser levels of support on the various other machines. That's a quarter million per year on a few million dollars worth of hardware.
    • Does anyone know whether contract or temporary workers count as employees on these annual filings? My cousin's company recently fired virtually all of their employees, then rehired about 70 percent back as "temporary contractors" with a 10 percent raise. The company saved big-time, because they no longer had to pay benefits, insurance, and so forth for "temporary" employees. Despite the take-home pay raise, the employees lost out because they had to pay for insurance and retirement out of pocket. However, m
      • Do you really think any company that has enough employees to make "$100/employee/year" a lot of money is going to care enough about Sun's pricing to fire all of their employees? They would be more likely to just not choose Sun...

    • Re:All Employees (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bios10h ( 323061 )
      What happens if a manufacturing company (or even a computer-related company) decides to split the "IT department" off the company to create another company that will offer IT services for that manufacturing company? If your IT department was 1/100th of your company, you just got Sun license for 1/100th of the price... maybe their "license" will cover this kind of practice but if not, it would be easy to do.
  • What they're talking about is bunding some some other stuff with StarOffice and selling it for $100 per employee per year.

    Now, how will they kill OpenOffice?

    • They won't kill OpenOffice, people who want to use OpenOffice are free to use it. But this all in one plan IS much cheaper than what MS charges for the OS alone!
    • by Sylvius ( 670730 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:54PM (#6977500)
      I remember reading an interview with Scott where he said giving away StarOffice was killing it. CIOs were too nervous to do company-wide transition to a free office suite because they feared that Sun could just abandon it/stop supporting it on a whim. Hence, the spin-off of OpenOffice. By charging an nominal amount (comapred to MS Office) for StarOffice, Sun has given it a "corporate legitimacy" that gives IT departments reassurance that Sun is committed to supporting it.
      They are both great products, they are both far cheaper than MS Office, but they appeal to different groups with different needs, so one won't kill the other.
    • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:16PM (#6977743) Homepage Journal

      how will they kill OpenOffice?

      They won't.

      They'll leverage it.

      The first thing people discover with OpenOffice is that it's about 95% * Office97.

      There are enough remaining compatibility issues with MS' products and the problem of not having the same full suite of good work-alike fonts that Sun and other vendors like Ximian - er - Novell - have been addressing.

      I sympathize with Sun. I've used their products on the desktop since the mid 1980's, but these days a Linux box is on my desktop and Suns sit back in the server room. It's only a matter of time before their role there is commoditised, because that's the direction everything is going.

      Whatever computer desktop exists in the future, it's going to cost less than the desktop that exists now. That has stark implications in terms of the profit margin that companies like Sun or Microsoft can hope to drum up.

      In this kind of environment it's difficult for IT companies that need to find new markets where they can truly offer a value-added product.

      If I were Sun, I'd be looking into embedded devices. What were servers 10-15 years ago will soon be cheap enough to buy at Walmart in a blister pack. Perhaps Jini was before its time, but the idea is correct - software for networking devices that discover their environment easily and, hopefully, securely.

  • What is the "system" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mentin ( 202456 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:34PM (#6977296)
    What is the "system" described in the article? If I bought it, and found its performance is not enought, do I have to buy another one at the same $100 per employee? Now it looks more like any arbitrary number times $100 per employee pricing.

    Or do Sun believe they scale infinitely?

    • by pmz ( 462998 )
      What is the "system" described in the article?

      Well, Sun is announcing their Java Desktop System (formerly Mad Hatter) today. It looks to be a $100/year deal. It includes a Linux distribution, GNOME 2, StarOffice 7, Mozilla, Evolution, J2SE 1.4.2, Acrobat Reader, browser plugins, etc. The cost also includes Sun support, it appears.

      Try to get something like Java Desktop for that price from Microsoft. This is exactly what Sun is going after. One of Sun's executives said they'll undersell whatever Micro
  • by pegr__ ( 144172 )
    You mean I can get a personal copy of all Sun goodies for a mere $100? Here I come!
  • JBOss and RedHat charge zero..just fees fro support services..

    Look at Frod they did not choose Sun, why?
  • by bartash ( 93498 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:35PM (#6977311)
    What happens in an enterprise when a department wants to try out SunONE App Server? They have to pay for their whole company? Easier to get JBOSS/Weblogic/Websphere.

    Of course when Sun has got in the door it is easy for departments to choose SunONE App Server becasue it is essentially free.
    • What happens in an enterprise when a department wants to try out SunONE App Server? They have to pay for their whole company?

      No. You download the software you want to try for free from Sun. You only pay when you want to deploy in a profit-generating or enterprise scheme. Usually, Sun's freebie software is the real deal but perhaps with some artificial limits (like 200,000 LDAP entries).

      For example, in Sun's $100 Solaris 9 media kit, they provide the full-blown Sun ONE app server along with their messa
  • by Anonymous Coward
    OSNews has a preview [osnews.com] of Sun Linux and the info about the 3D desktop.
  • by EdMack ( 626543 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:39PM (#6977359) Homepage
    "would reap big savings from what he called the "happy meal" approach."

    Does this mean a free toy for every third employee? Yay!
  • by gojomo ( 53369 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:48PM (#6977441) Homepage
    If Sun were ever to be in a dominant market position, this sort of "bundling" would likely be considered actionably anticompetitive, like the MS OEM licenses which charged PC makers for every PC shipped, whether it had an MS OS or not.
    • If Sun were ever to be in a dominant market position, this sort of "bundling" would likely be considered actionably anticompetitive, like the MS OEM licenses which charged PC makers for every PC shipped, whether it had an MS OS or not.

      But they aren't, so it doesn't matter. Sun is a competitive company with real competition from a number of companies. Microsoft's biggest competitor is themselves.

  • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:49PM (#6977451) Homepage
    The announcement by Sun almost begs the following question. Does anyone have a comparison of the new Sun package and the equivalent software under GPL (GNU Public License)? The latter is free, but the former is not. Is the former a sufficiently big improvement over the latter to justify a charge of $100 per employee.

    Most Web servers run Apache. You can get a more expensive web server from Sun, but does it have a significant advantage over Apache?

    ... from the desk of the reporter [geocities.com]

    • It sounds like this thing is basicaly a well-put together Linux distro with a little bit of Sun stuff (like java, obviously) designed to be easy to deploy.
    • To Sun, or not to Sun. That is the question.
      Whether tis nobler of the budget to suffer the bogosity and "RTFM!"s of outrageous Linux zealots, or, by taking contract for a sea of packages, have them supported.

      KFG
  • Wohoo! I can get all that for $100 for the whole danged company! Ever since they went outsource crazy, we haven't got any employees left. Of course the CEO couldn't be outsourced to India... yet.
  • I think this strategy of a "predictable" pricing is not going to work for software, esp. this late in the game of the battle of the Operating systems for desktops and severs.

    In software, there are many factors that have to be considered before you buy it. And software is not individualistic like music, but has to work with the software of others in and out of your ecosystem. Therein lies the biggest hurdle for getting enough traction.

    Simplistic pricing is just one factor to be considered in the eval

    • Sun may turn out to be more monopolistic that M$ if given a chance.

      How would this be possible when their server software uses open standards to communicate and their Java Desktop is almost entirely made up of free software?

      Sun is much less evil than most people try to make them out to be. So what if Sun turns evil one day, customers can just switch to Red Hat/GNOME/Evolution/Mozilla/OpenOffice.org.

      Where is the lock in? Where is it?
      • >
        Sun is much less evil than most people try to make them out to be.
        >

        I agree, but they have to thank themselves for the animosity of OSS people.

        If they could make Scott McNealy shut his big mouth for six months, they woud be amazed at the results.

        Nevertheless, I reckon this is not going to happen, because the guy seems to be a pathological attention beggar.

        Cheers,
  • Far out! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by r_j_prahad ( 309298 ) <r_j_prahad@hotma ... m minus math_god> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:56PM (#6977518)
    This could be great news for my 501(c)(3) non-profit customer who technically has zero employees; there is nobody on the payroll, they are all volunteers by definition. I haven't read the whole of the offer yet, so I do not know if they are giving Solaris away for free or not. And anyway my non-profit site is happy with Linux, so free Solaris is not going to save them an appreciable amount of money. But when your revenue stream is primarily pocket change, every penny counts.
  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:59PM (#6977553) Homepage
    If I had a company with a janitor on the payroll....I'd have to pony up $100 to Sun for him because he's an employee? No thanks. At least they're not shooting themselves in the foot because they're still offering their old pricing plan.

    • I'd have to pony up $100 to Sun for him because he's an employee? No thanks.

      For server software, that janitor uses it indirectly through HR, Payroll, and Management and directly if he uses a web browser to pull up his latest benefits information. Sun's pricing doesn't sound so nefarious after all.
  • Everyone is quick to say "won't work" about Sun's proposal. But just think what the world would be like if RIAA ran things - if there were a "Technology Industry Association" (TIA) levying fees on behalf of all the tech companies.

    Every living human would be assessed $500 a year for tech use. Then charged a royalty everytime he turned on a machine of any type, opened any software, printed, etc. Of that, somewhere between 1% and 5% would be divided up amongst all the software companies and the rest would

  • by Multics ( 45254 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:15PM (#6977730) Journal
    I'm sitting in the presentation that is announcing the $100/employee/yr. Pretty much it is the whole stack.

    They used Google as an example. 1000 people, $100/employee/yr yields $100,000/yr for the whole software stack. So wearing my manager hat that is just 2 FTE.

    The alternatives (like IIS and Websphere) are interested in licensing by connected person.

    So this is yet one more way to license the products sun sells. This also is a major feeder to startups. Near zero software costs for small firms.

    -- Multics

  • by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:19PM (#6977766) Journal
    Coming from a sysadmin trying to manage an infrastructure, a turn-key solution like this from sun is a HUGE bargain.

    We pay more in PER USER fees for a standard Application server environment than what Sun wants for the entire "shebang".

    For small businesses who focus on unix solutions i couldn't imagine a better way to "enterprise" your business.

    Pushing this will push java, will push sun hardware, will push sun certified solutions, will push logo branding, will push certifications and that will push the company forward.

    PS, I do have a few V880's, 280r's, Netra X1's, V240's and lots of other sun equipment. So this is good news :)
  • Sounds good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:20PM (#6977776)
    This is how it's supposed to work: the business says, "you can have it all for X price, or you can have the individual components for Y and Z prices individually." The consumer picks what's best. Everyone's happy.

    It's not often that I praise Sun, but if they do what they're saying, they've given everyone a good deal. Nice job!

    -Erwos
  • by rumpledstiltskin ( 528544 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:36PM (#6977920) Homepage Journal
    Anyone who's worked for Dell knows that anyone in a grunt position (tech support, sales, customer support, etc.) starts out as an employee of a contracting company (these days it's Spherion). do these employees count? they're not employees of dell (for example).
  • by ubeans ( 449308 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @02:11PM (#6978235) Homepage
    Say I want to start up a new company with two of my friends (all Java developers), and let's suppose we want to innovate and build the next killer app. First we need to write a proof of concept in order to show it to venture capitalists in order to secure an initial round of funding for the project; we need development tools, an application server, etc. but we're living off a shoestring budget.

    Sun proposes a full suite of enterprise apps and development tools including limited support for 300$ per year? Wow, I'll jump on this offer, thank you very much. And when we'll sell the solution to our customers, we'll be happy to sell it along with some Sun hardware to match.

  • Sun MMORPG (Score:5, Funny)

    by CHaN_316 ( 696929 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @02:44PM (#6978576)
    Wow..... Sun is announcing a pay to play scheme. This is great! It's a MMORPG right? This MMORPG is only charging $100/year per player, which is a pretty good deal, that's only $8.33 a month!

    I hear this MMORPG is also skills based and they have many classes of character you could become. You can be tech-support, end user, programmer, system administrator, clueless user, and many more! This is going to be great!
  • Say you have a company with 10,001 employees.

    Create a new company with one employee, its sole business is to provide your company with internet access. All his expenses are charged to the larger company. He buys his license ($100.00), saving your 10,001 employee company ((10,001 - 1) * 100) = $1,000,000 per year.

    The only additional fees would be for handling the accounting work for the tiny company, which should be extremely simple, and easily covered by your savings.

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