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PC World

Take your desktop, leave your PC behind

April 28, 1999
Web posted at: 4:06 p.m. EDT (2006 GMT)

by Jeanette Borzo

(IDG) -- Sun Microsystems President Ed Zander has announced I-Planet, software that will let you access a virtual computer desktop at all times, so you can leave your portables behind.

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Speaking at the Java Enterprise Solutions Symposium (JESS '99) developers conference on Tuesday, Zander lifted the lid on the much-anticipated Java application, previously known and internally tested at Sun under the name

Where you are is where you work

"Eventually, all you will need to carry is a Java smart card" in order to have your desktop with you, Zander said. In other words, the idea behind I-Planet is that "where you are is where you work."

Sun has already given 10,000 such access cards to its own employees, Zander said.

The I-Planet software embedded in the card gives the user access to a virtual workspace with company files, including applications, calendars, files, and e-mail, from any Java-enabled browser connected to the Internet.

No software required

The software will also help companies give authorized users secure access to corporate intranets and extranets, just as if they were working inside the office, Sun said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"This works like a virtual private network," Zander said. But unlike VPNs and other remote access products, I-Planet can work on any end-user device without specially configured software, the Sun statement said.

While existing portal products typically are limited to e-mail access or HTML applications and data, I-Planet will allow users access to any application running on Windows 95 and NT, Sun's Solaris, UNIX, and Novell operating systems, Sun said.

The new software will be available May 17 and will be sold by Sun and its distributors and resellers. The cost for 100 users will begin at $10,000, falling to $16 per user in larger quantities.

Jana Sanchez contributed to this story.

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Sun Microsystems
Java Enterprise Solutions Symposium (JESS '99)

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