Sun pumps $US300m into new .com initiative

Sun Microsystems has announced an initiative called iForce, which the company describes as a far-reaching programme to help businesses of all sizes move to the Internet.

Sun Microsystems chairman and CEO Scott McNealy has announced an initiative called iForce, which the company describes as a far-reaching programme to help businesses of all sizes move to the Internet.

The initiative gathers many of Sun's existing "dot-com" offerings under one umbrella and adds a series of new partnerships and programmes to help get companies online. Sun says it will invest $US300 million to jump-start the programme.

At the core of the iForce initiative is the iForce community, a collection of partners brought together by Sun to collaborate on creating new services and product offerings for customers. One programme, called the Sun Startup Accelerator, aims to provide "elite" startup companies with access to a professionally managed development and testing environment to help kick-start their Internet-based business.

The environment includes pre-configured Sun hardware as well as software from Sun, Oracle and iPlanet. The equipment will be hosted by service providers, including AT&T, Sprint and US Internetworking, who will also offer data centre management and other support services.

In a related announcement, iPlanet's E-Commerce Solutions introduced its "100 days to dot-com" programme, designed to extend coverage of the iForce initiative to new partners and other platforms. More information about the iPlanet programme is at iPlanet.

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