Yes, you could argue that having Star Office 7-up2, the brand new Java System Update Service (to update the OS via the net) and the Java Studio IDE worth the $50-100 bucks that Sun will ask you for it. But on the other hand, when you can't use your browser or your network card on a Linux-certified PC or when Sun has made zero progress to offer new features on the desktop side itself, it is all a moot point. Honestly, JDS2 should have being called JDS 1.1, definetely not 2.0.
The only part of the OS that has seen new features and real progress are the system management tools (coming on the last CD in the box):
Java Desktop System Configuration Manager, Release 1: Policy-based desktop configuration manager. Java Desktop System Configuration Manager defines user settings and provides the ability to lockdown user desktop systems.
Sun Control Station 2.1: Comprehensive toolset for centralized desktop deployment and management . Sun Control Station, 2.1 is ideal for remotely performing desktop provisioning, management, and software updating. The easy-to-use interface also performs dependency checking, health monitoring and asset management.
Remote Desktop Takeover: Remote administration including viewing and interacting with users desktop display to help, guide and troubleshoot. (don't get excited, it's just VNC-based, so it would be much slower than X remote display or Terminal Services).
Unfortunately I could not use the new management tools because the server side requires 1 GB of RAM on a machine that needs to run RHEL 2.1 or Red Hat Linux 7.3. I don't have a machine with 1 GB RAM (except my dual Power Mac which has 2 GB of RAM) and if I had one, it would be on a very recent machine, and a very recent machine wouldn't guarantee to run with Red Hat 7.3 as this OS is already old. I don't know what Sun is thinking for not updating this software to work with newer server OSes. In any case, the good people at Sun sent a demo over of the management services running on a Mozilla window that doesn't require an external server (see screenshot) which worked adequately.
Conclusively whatever problems I encountered with JDS1 (read my review of JDS1) are ALL still here with JDS2 and there are even new ones. I just can't recommend it, it is not polished and it is not tested properly. I would have expected a better job from Sun.
If the newly announced Red Hat Desktop (part of the Enterprise family of OSes, also targetting the enterprise desktop) manages to be bug-free, stable, faster and offers server side management tools like JDS2 does, I would recommend corporate buyers going with Red Hat. I am not sure if SuSE has something similar in terms of remote management tools, but if they do I would think them as serious contestands too in the enterprise marketplace. Sun's JDS is just not though. It falls through in many places and it dissapoints on many levels.
Oh, and what's the deal with the over 200 pages of licensing agreements? Why the need for so much wasted paper?
Hardware Support: 7/10
Ease of use: 7.5/10
Credibility: 6/10 (stability, bugs, security)
Speed: 6.5/10 (throughput, UI responsiveness, latency)
- "Sun JDS2 review, Page 1/2"
- "Sun JDS2 review, Page 2/2"