Sun Microsystems, Inc. Offers Java™ 2 Platform, Standard Edition for Free

NEW YORK, NY -- Java Business Conference -- Dec. 7, 1999-- Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced the availability of its core Java™ technology, the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition at no charge. Since the release of the first version of the Java technology in January, 1996, Sun has licensed the Java platform source code, including the Java programming language, runtime, compiler, and class libraries, for various fees and royalties. The Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) is one of three platforms in the Java platform family, the others being the Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition, launched in June 1999, and the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition, which was launched today at the Java Business Conference in New York City. (See separate release.)

Beginning January 31, 2000, the source code for the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, will be offered without charge. The binary runtime environment will continue to be offered for free as well. Through a simple click wrap license, the source code for the Java 2, Standard Edition will be offered without any licensing or royalty fees.

"Since its release a year ago, the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition has captured the hearts and minds of millions of software developers because it allows them to build network centric software that is compatible across all major platforms and protects their customers' IT investments," said Patricia C. Sueltz, president of Sun's Software Products and Platforms, Sun Microsystems. "Sun is committed to maintaining a common sense balance between relaxing Sun's policies for the use of the technology and maintaining compatibility, which is the heart of Java technology's value to the industry."

The announcement today to reduce the price of the core Java technology to zero is a further easing of Sun's policies for the use of the technology. In December, 1998, Sun introduced the Sun Community Source License (SCSL) model for the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition. This new model eliminated source licensing fees, but continued to require that developers pay Sun a small royalty for every application using J2SE they sold or deployed. Today's announcement continues the trend of relaxing fees and conditions for use. The only remaining requirement is to respect the covenants for compatibility established with the millions of developers who have invested in the use of Java technology based on the expectation of its "Write Once, Run Anywhere™" promise.

Licensees who modify source code and integrate those modifications within products will still be required to ensure that such changes are compatible with the J2SE. Compatibility is checked through the Java Compatibility Kit (JCK) and supporting services. Sun is committed to working with the Java community and testing services over the coming year to both dramatically reduce the costs and to simplify the process for such testing.

Products that pass the certification test will be eligible to receive the Java Compatible brand logo. This brand signifies to the industry that the product meets the rigorous Java compatibility requirements for J2SE. This compatibility has been key to the rapid adoption of Java technology during the past four years and has helped spark the accelerating growth of business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce on the Internet.

In addition to relaxing licensing policies, Sun in December 1998 formalized the Java Community Process, by which members of the Java community can establish expert groups that define extensions to the technology. This process not only allows widespread community involvement in the evolution of Java technology, but also ensures that the technology continues to stay abreast with the rapid addition of new Internet applications, services and clients. Sun last week announced a restructuring within its software group and the creation of the Java Community Development organization, which will concentrate on relations with Sun's Java licensees, SCSL and the Java Community Process. Today's announcement is the first for the new organization.

"So many companies and individuals depend on the Java technology. Sun cannot and will not compromise the compatibility of Java technology, or back away from our commitment to extending Java technology's functionality in Internet time," said George Paolini, vice president, Java Community Development. "Customers tell us they want more functionality without sacrificing compatibility. The Java Community Process has always been and will continue to be the mechanism for evolving the technology, while maintaining compatibility. We recognize that the community of Java technology users has an equal role in the future of Java technology, and we will continue to explore with the community new ways to extend Java technology's development and use."

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 high-quality hardware, software and services for establishing enterprise-wide Intranets and expanding the power of the Internet. With more than $12.4 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at

About the Java Business Conference

Don't miss the upcoming Java Business Conference, December 7 -- 9, 1999 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. The Java technology industry, as well as enterprise customers of these vendors, will showcase their end-to-end enterprise solutions built on the Java platform. This three-day event is an intense educational conference that will enable attendees to make better informed decisions on their web business strategies, including how to leverage XML with the Java platform. The conference will also highlight both proven and new industry products that build upon the power of the Java platform. For more information, or to register, please visit or call 1-888-886-8309.

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