Sun to share 3-D stash with developers

Looking Glass late for date

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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