The Sun/Netscape Alliance has revealed plans to merge both vendors' internet software into a single line to tackle IBM and Microsoft in the e-commerce space.
The agreement was introduced in November 1998 as part of a three-way deal that included Netscape's acquisition by America Online (AOL). It was stated last week that the alliance will be an independent software company with its own management team and 2,000 staff that will remain on either the AOL or Sun payroll.
The alliance will sell a full range of e-commerce software from both vendors. By the first quarter of next year, it will ship a single merged product line that will run on a range of operating systems, including NT.
Ed Zander, chief operating officer at Sun, said: 'We want to be the .com software company.'
Martin Marshall, director of internet server service Zona Research, said: 'It's the first time we have seen Sun be as wide-ranging as IBM. What Sun is saying is that by next year, you can go to it for everything.'
Observers had previously criticised the alliance, saying there was too much overlap between the two vendors' product lines. But this appears to have been resolved just two weeks after the alliance was officially launched.
In most instances, the alliance has selected either a Netscape or a Sun product for its merged product line rather than attempting to merge code bases. For example, Netscape's mail server will form the basis of the Alliance Mail Server 5, which is due to ship in the first quarter of 2000. Netscape's LDAP directory server will now become the Alliance Directory Server.
Sun's Netdynamics Application Server and Netscape's equivalent offering, which it acquired from Kiva, will be merged into a single product. This is expected to be a relatively simple task, because both are based on Java and Enterprise Java Beans (EJB). Version 6 of the Alliance Application Server is also scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2000.
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany