Ealier this decade, Sun earned a reputation as a friend to SMBs by offering them discounts that enabled them to purchase the company's pricey SPARC servers. Unfortunately, many of those companies went belly-up during the dot-com bust.
Sun is again targeting the SMB demographic, according to a recent SiliconValley.com article, but this time with cheaper, commodity servers and free software that it hopes will convince some Linux users to switch to its Solaris operating system.
One of the cornerstones of this strategy is open-sourcing its Java programming language, which is looking a little long in the tooth when compared to the Python and Ruby programming languages that have emerged as favorites of folks creating Web 2.0 applications. Sun announced yesterday the release of an open source Java Development Kit. Though Sun doesn't own all of the Java code, the portions it does not will be released as binary plug-ins, says Sun.
Another interesting move that should appeal to SMBs: Sun's new Network.com portal, which offers users access to dozens of applications from independent software developers for $1 per CPU hour. The apps are delivered via Sun's Solaris 10-based grid computing platform.