Sun's "Mad Hatter"

Sun Microsystems Inc.'s chief software engineer took the LinuxWorld stage here today to show off "Mad Hatter," the company's upcoming unified desktop, which he said the company will sell for half the price of a Windows environment.

In a demonstration of Mad Hatter, Schwartz also showed off what he said was a "thought piece" on a future 3D GUI. The demo, dubbed "Looking Glass," used transparent, three-dimensional windows that could rotate in space and hide behind one another, drastically increasing the desktop space. The GUI demonstration also featured a Mac OS X-like "dock" containing thumbnail copies of recently viewed documents. "The only way for Microsoft to respond isn't a new color schema or a patch—it's by lowering the prices," Schwartz said.

Schwartz said that Sun had no plans to commercialize the Looking Glass demo technology but intended the demonstration as an indicator of the potential of the platform. Microsoft's Longhorn technology, due in late 2005, also treats windows as transparent 3D objects. Schwartz's demonstration ran off an older Sony laptop with a "mid-range" ATI graphics processor, he said. As for the Apple connection, Schwartz said that the practically every Sun employee owns an Apple desktop at home. "We would love to partner with Apple,' he said. "They're everyone's favorite company, and iTunes is really cool."

News source: eWeek

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