Middle East to profit from Java move, says Sun

Sun Microsystems' top EMEA software boss believes the company's decision to make its Java technology available as free software is poised to boost the Middle East developer community.

  • E-Mail
By  Andrew Seymour Published  November 20, 2006

Sun Microsystems' top EMEA software boss believes the company's decision to make its Java technology available as free software is poised to boost the Middle East developer community. The US-based firm announced the release of the first pieces of source code for its implementation of Java Platform Standard Edition and a buildable implementation of Java Platform Micro Edition back in mid-November. Sotirios Papachristos, senior director software EMEA at Sun, claims the move represents one of the largest source code contributions ever made and predicts Java will now become even more pervasive in the region. He said: “The Middle East is a region where a lot of development is going on. We believe the impact in the region will be huge as technology will be much more accessible to customers in general. The thinking behind the decision to open source Java is that volume drives value. By bringing the barriers down, additional services can be developed and consequently more people will be able to use it.” Over 3.8 billion devices are currently enabled with Java technology, including mobile phones, smart cards and enterprise applications. Papachristos claims the release of Java code is a natural move for Sun given its increasing commitment to the open source community: “The [Java] technology is at a mature stage after 11 years of continuous development and usage. If you go back 10 or 12 years, Sun has actually been a major player in the open source area. We open sourced NetBeans and Solaris, and now you are seeing it with Java. Eventually you will see other products being open sourced too,” he said. By open sourcing its implementation of Java, Sun hopes it will spawn a new generation of services and applications in verticals such as finance and telecommunication. “We have a lot of focus on the Middle East as it is an important and strategic region for us," explained Papachristos. "The region has a growing economy and the IT market is expanding significantly.” Rich Green, executive VP of software at Sun, reckons that the open sourcing of Java will "inspire a new phase of developer collaboration and innovation" using the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment. He also expects the Java platform to be the foundation infrastructure for next generation internet, desktop, mobile and enterprise applications. "With the Java Development Kit released as free software under the General Public License, Sun will be working closely with distributors of the GNU/Linux operating system, who will soon be able to include the JDK as part of the open source repositories that are commonly included with GNU/Linux distributions," stated Green. Sun employs more than 150 people in the Middle East and claims its software business — which accounts for around 5% of EMEA software sales — is currently growing at a double-digit rate.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code