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Users running Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system are getting something a little extra thrown into their contracts: developer support.

Sun is wrapping extended support for its Solaris Express Developer Edition, previously only available to application developers, into existing and new Solaris customers' contracts without charging extra, the company said.

The deal means developers building Solaris or Java applications on a Solaris desktop or laptop in C++ or Fortran are now supported by Sun in the installation phase of development. Sun's coverage now extends to debugging and configuration. Solaris Express Developer Edition support starts at $249 while Solaris support starts at $240.

Sun revealed the news while announcing Solaris Express Developer Edition 9/07. Features include graphical-based interface for developers working on laptops using features like Solaris' DTrace to avoid hunting through lines of code for instructions. Developers can also run a DTrace probe on Apache, MySQL, Perl, PHP and Python on Solaris - Sun's AMP stack that cuts out Linux - and Postgres.

Other features include NetBeans 5.5 with enterprise pack and GlassFish open source application server, and Java Platform Standard Edition 6.0

How many individuals or organizations choose to take advantage of these features or Sun's offer remains to be seen. As ever with its software, Sun is being coy on download numbers of Solaris Express Developer Edition citing "quite nice" uptake.

The company claimed a "lot of interest" in Solaris Express Developer Edition from developers on the back of its somewhat hard to explain Project Indiana.

Sun told The Register tat Project Indiana is "adding the concept of a distribution" to OpenSolaris, which is a "code repository." Apparently, OpenSolaris was always meant to be a code repository and not a free, open version of Solaris, which is what Sun had led us to believe OpenSolaris would be during the years leading up to release. Project Indiana will feature new packaging systems and Solaris features such as ZFS.®

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