Sun Passes Million Subscriber Mark

American Express won’t be without it: a Sun subscription for Java, that is.

Sun Microsystems announced today that American Express (AMEX) has decided that it won’t leave home without Sun support for Java Enterprise System (ES). In so
doing AMEX, joins over 1 million customers that Sun claims are now paying for
subscriptions to the freely downloadable Java ES.

The pact helps Sun claim that its open source
strategy is apparently paying financial dividends.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

However, Jim McHugh, senior director of software portfolio strategy, explained
that Java ES works on an annual subscription basis, based on the number of
employees, with the price for the complete Java ES at $140 per employee.

Amex had previously been a Sun customer, mostly at the OS level with
Solaris. McHugh noted that as a separate deal, Amex will be using a supported
commercial version of Solaris. Amex already has some Sun hardware in house
as well, which is not directly tied to the current deal.

“This is a move to embrace more of the Java Enterprise System in
particular the portal and the identity components,” McHugh told

Sun’s Java ES was officially set free last
November. Java Enterprise System is Sun’s infrastructure software platform
and includes Java Availability Suite, Java Identity Management Suite, Java
Web Infrastructure Suite, Java Application Platform Suite and the Java
Communications Suite.

“What most CIO’s know is that what they are paying us for is the value of
what they can do with the software,” McHugh said.

“It’s not the bits that are important anymore. It’s what you can do with
the bits and how reliable those bits are that people are valuing.”

Just yesterday Sun announced its
quarterly earnings
reporting a 17 percent increase in sales.

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