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Sun Buys Messaging Firm

Sun Microsystems Inc. Tuesday took hold of Internet messaging company Innosoft International Inc. in a move to get in on the growing Internet messaging game.

Innosoft is a developer of Internet standards-based messaging and directory tools. No financial terms of the deal, which still needs shareholder approval, were released.

Innosoft's key products and technologies will be integrated into the product portfolio of Sun's (SUNW) iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions.

iPlanet plans to add Innosoft's DirectoryPortal product, LDAP Proxy Server, and Messaging Transfer Agent (MTA), already a core component of iPlanet's messaging server, to its technology.

"Our goal is to continue leading the directory and messaging solutions market and to do so we will strive to acquire and integrate the most innovative technologies into our own aggressive development efforts," said Mark Tolliver, president of iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions.

"The acquisition of Innosoft brings essential technologies into our product lines and an outstanding team of people into our organization, which enables our solutions to grow to help customers capitalize on new opportunities in the Net Economy."

The move marks Sun's entrance in the Internet messaging space. The space is dominated by America Online's (AOL) Instant Messenger, with competitors such as Microsoft and other vying for a piece of the pie.

After waging a messaging war with AOL over access to its messaging service, Microsoft teamed up with iCAST, AltaVista, and several other companies to request a congressional review of AOL's blocking access to its directory. The companies have also advocated an open-standard instant messaging system.

The independent Internet Engineering Task Force has already begun working on an open-standards messaging platform.



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