System News
Sun Previews Project Mad Hatter
Open, Integrated, Secure Alternative Desktop
August 4, 2003,
Volume 66, Issue 1

Sun's Project Mad Hatter is designed as a secure, low-cost alternative for the Linux and SolarisTM Operating System (Solaris OS). Further details of the integrated, open-source desktop environment were recently on display as Sun previewed Project Mad Hatter at the LinuxWorld Conference.

"Sun seized the opportunity to create a fully integrated desktop for the Linux environment and clearly has the first mover advantage if it delivers Mad Hatter on schedule this year," says Bill Claybrook, research director, Aberdeen Group. "Sun has applied its expertise gained over the years of delivering the StarOfficeTM (software) suite and Common Desktop Environment for the UNIXR industry, and with the private trials that have begun this month, they are closing in on this outstanding goal."

The new environment features a full suite of desktop applications, including a new version of StarOffice personal productivity suite, the latest version of JavaTM technology, the GNOME intuitive user interface, Evolution mail and calendaring and Gaim instant messaging. The Project aims to provide interoperability with Microsoft Office and Exchange and the Lotus Notes productivity and communications tools as well as the authentication services of Java CardTM technology and the SunTM Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) stack.

"We have already seen significant opportunities in the government, military, education and vertical market areas such as call centers and retail banking," said Curtis Sasaki, vice president of engineering, desktop solutions, Sun. "While many of the specific components exist today, we couldn't simply bundle all these tools and call it a viable alternative. Sun has done a significant amount of integration work and will be providing full worldwide support for the solution."

Sun also demonstrated its Java 3DTM desktop technology at the conference. Sun is enhancing its Java technology on the desktop for Project Mad Hatter to provide a native GNOME look and feel for all Java applications. Java technology on Linux with Java for OpenGLR bindings was used to construct the 3-D desktop demo that was well-received at the conference keynote. That solution is currently available as an open source project at

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