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Sun to share 3-D stash with developers

Looking Glass late for date

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Software developers will soon have their chance to smoke what Sun Microsystems is rolling.

At the JavaOne conference next month, Sun will release a developer kit for its Project Looking Glass 3-D software. This will be the first time Sun has let anyone outside of the company fiddle with the dadaist code, and the move confirms that Project Looking Glass is heading toward a general release on Linux and Solaris. Also on the desktop front, El Reg can confirm that AOL plans to take its $300 PC package, first reported here, from trial to full-blown program, including Sun's StarOffice software as part of the bundle.

Sun has been showing the Looking Glass software for a couple of years now, drawing cheers from conference crowds for the flash software. The code's name fits in with Sun's overall acid-washed Alice desktop software theme - the Java Desktop System (JDS) was code-named Mad Hatter. But, up until now, Sun only ever hinted that Looking Glass would one day become a real product.

Our sources, however, confirm that the developer kit will arrive first and then, a few months later, parts of Looking Glass will show up in JDS and Solaris. The kit will basically help coders write 3-D Java applications.

The word on the AOL deal is a bit less clear. Our sources have confirmed that AOL was impressed with its $300 PC experiment where consumers could purchase a cheap PC up front if they agreed to then pay for AOL for one year. In the coming months, AOL will launch a large $300 PC program, hoping to attract new subscribers with the help of hardware. AOL uses Sun's StarOffice as the productivity suite on the PCs. ®

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