Computergram: Sun/AOL Alliance is iPlanet; Bedouin Browser Now in AOL Pot

Sally Khudairi (
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 07:59:04 -0400

Sun/AOL Alliance is iPlanet; Bedouin Browser Now in AOL Pot

Section: 01. Top Stories

By William Fellows

The Sun Microsystems Inc and America Online's Sun-Netscape software
alliance has named Sun's Bud Tribble to be its chief
technology officer. It will brand its products with the name iPlanet, from
the company and webtop product of the same name
which Sun bought last year for its Java-based remote application access
technology. The alliance is trumpeting Tribble's work
on the original Mac interface design at Apple, despite the fact that the
browser work - Netscape Communicator in all of its
forms, the so-called New Browser as well as Sun's still mostly hidden
Bedouin Communications-based embedded Java browser
are outside of the alliance and being run by AOL browser chief and
ex-Netscape VP, John Paul. Tribble went from Apple on to
Steve Jobs' other venture, Next Computer and subsequently evangelized
object- oriented technologies and worked on Java's
evolution at Sun. The fact that Bedouin is in the pot too is new in
itself. Sun had previously said that Bedouin - seen as a key
piece of technology for future web connected devices - was being kept
exclusively for itself.

Tribble was touting iPlanet as a $1bn business in interviews even though
the company has only been selling software since the
beginning of July. We should think about that number as the potential
opportunity over the course of the three-year agreement,
alliance executives said. iPlanet will be the brand given to the
e-commerce and infrastructure products that are being crafted
from Sun and Netscape software. The Netscape Application Server (Kiva) is
forming the basis of the first joining web
application server due in the first quarter, though the Sun NetDynamics
server will be leveraged for its connections and

Its first product designed specifically for the portal market - web
brokerage and communities - is still to come. iPlanet said it
will develop point products to serve these emerging markets.

iPlanet says it picked up 300 customers in the quarter, 40 of which are
using its products for the first time, with 26 deals of the
deals worth over $1m. Although it has executives, products and a business
plan, iPlanet won't report revenues, claiming it is
still just a three-year alliance. Industry watchers have characterized it
as an easy way for Sun to 'buy' Netscape without
actually buying it and expect it could IPO after the agreement ends. They
have also said that it is the browser - AOL's baby
which Sun will help raise - is key to the relationship.

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Sally Khudairi . ZOT Group .
+1.617.818.0177 <>