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FUDBusters

This Edition: Sun offers SunONE Application Server at no charge to developers.

FUDBust: Unlikely. The cost of Sun's software, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per CPU, has not been the barrier to entry Sun believes it is. Its pricing has been competitive, and the server's performance is more than adequate for the enterprise. Rather, there are problems with Sun's strategy:

1. Sun is focusing on Solaris (of course) and Windows platforms for initial availability, with Linux and other *nix system support to come later this year. Placing support for Windows before Linux is a mistake, as Linux in the Web/app server space is outpacing Windows and has overtaken Solaris.

2. If you're going to try to enter the enterprise via developers, you'd better have one heck of a development environment to go along with the platform. In that regard, Sun is far behind the same competition it's trying to outpace in pricing and feature set.

Although Sun says it will address this issue with a developer platform later this year that includes better support for building Web services and Java Connector Architecture, the company is also charging $5,000 per developer for the right to use it. Not

only is that quite a chunk of change compared with offerings from the competition, it's also about a year too late.

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