Sun resellers will be able to extend their portfolios with the vendor's open source desktop, which could be available for the channel to test by November.
The new x86-based PCs are part of Sun's Project Mad Hatter, aimed at pushing Linux further into Microsoft desktop territory. Project Mad Hatter combines Java Card authentication, an open-source desktop software stack, and off-the-shelf hardware to allow users access to their client systems regardless of location or workstation.
Sun calls the Linux PCs 'enterprise clients'. The vendor said they will be bundled with servers and software and sold as part of an entire system.
Deborah Lees, marketing manager at Sun Channel Development Partner tplc, said: "It will expand the reach of resellers that traditionally sell back-end servers across the enterprise. The PCs will have all the office products you expect and lower the cost of ownership."
Although Sun said resellers would be given the opportunity to evaluate products in preparation for next year's launch, the company was unable to confirm when the desktops would be ready. However Lees said tplc is planning to have them in its iForce Centre for reseller evaluation by November.
Steve Raby, director of partner sales at Sun, said the vendor is already talking to resellers about the benefits it can offer customers, such as cost reduction and security as well as value-add opportunities.
James Governor, analyst at Illuminata, said the product will be easily managed. "VARs will just put it in, set it up and let it run. It will offer users a lower cost of ownership," he said.
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