Sun Declares Linux Desktop Ready For Primetime

Previews Latest Innovation – Project Mad Hatter an Open, Integrated, Secure Alternative Desktop

SAN FRANCISCO -- LinuxWorld Conference & Expo -- August 5, 2003 -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today previewed its fully integrated open source-based desktop environment known as Project Mad Hatter. Designed as a secure, low cost alternative for the Linux and Solaris operating systems, Project Mad Hatter features all the necessary desktop applications including a new version of StarOffice personal productivity suite, the latest version of Sun's Java technology, the GNOME intuitive user interface, Evolution mail and calendaring, and Gaim instant messaging. Project Mad Hatter will provide interoperability with Microsoft Office and Exchange, and Lotus Notes productivity and communications tools and the enhanced security and authentication services of Java Card and the Sun ONE stack. Sun also demonstrated Java 3D desktop technology that breaks new ground in the way users will interact with their desktops.

"Sun seized the opportunity to create a fully integrated desktop for the Linux environment and clearly has the first mover advantage if it delivers Mad Hatter on schedule this year," says Bill Claybrook, research director, Aberdeen Group. "Sun has applied it's expertise gained over the years of delivering the StarOffice suite and Common Desktop Environment for the UNIX industry, and with the private trials that have begun this month, they are closing in on this outstanding goal."

Sun's new desktop solutions are targeted at enterprises looking to drive down the costs of their desktop computing environments. With Project Mad Hatter, Sun's customers will enjoy a substantial reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) by saving money in licensing fees, increasing user productivity through familiar applications and tools, and decreasing the cost and time of administration through interoperability with existing environments.

"We have already seen significant opportunities in the government, military, education and vertical market areas such as call centers and retail banking," said Curtis Sasaki, vice president of engineering, desktop solutions, Sun Microsystems. "While many of the specific components exist today, we couldn't simply bundle all these tools and call it a viable alternative. Sun has done a significant amount of integration work and will be providing full worldwide support for the solution."

StarOffice Desktop Momentum

At LinuxWorld, Sun is also previewing the next version of StarOffice, its award-winning productivity suite. StarOffice is a key component of the Project Mad Hatter desktop and is based on the open source code found at, a popular open source community founded by Sun in 2000. Available through many means, including more than 60 systems OEMs, over 60 million copies of StarOffice and OpenOffice have been distributed, making it the leading office productivity suite running on multiple platforms (Solaris, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X).

Java Technology a Key Feature of Mad Hatter

Sun's Java technology on the desktop is also being enhanced for Project Mad Hatter providing a native GNOME look and feel for all Java applications. The innovative 3D desktop demo that wowed the crowd during the keynote was built using Java technology on Linux with Java for Open GL bindings which Sun recently open sourced at Java technology is pervasive on the desktop as it now runs on 550 million personal computers via distribution arrangements with leading PC manufacturers. In fact, Java on the desktop is used in many critical applications in finance, education, sciences, communications, entertainment and government.

Register for SunNetwork 2003 Conference and Pavilion

The SunNetwork 2003 Conference and Pavilion is the only conference 100 percent dedicated to showcasing end-to-end solutions from Sun and our iForce partners. SunNetwork 2003 will provide information and insights through more than 200 education and technical sessions about products and innovations designed to reduce the cost and complexity of network computing.

LinuxWorld Conference and Expo attendees also planning to attend SunNetwork 2003 are eligible for a discounted registration rate. Stop by the Sun booth #1247 to pick up the discount code. More information about SunNetwork 2003 and registration is available online at

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Java Card, Java 3D, StarOffice, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.