Sun Microsystems on Wednesday said it has extended its program of offering startups discounts on products and services to companies in the United Kingdom and Israel.
Available in the United States, China and India for more than a year, the Sun Startup Essentials program also provides eligible companies with discounted rates from Sun partners offering Web hosting services. By giving startups a break on Sun products initially, the computer maker hopes for more sales in the future as the small companies grow.
More than 1,300 companies have applied for membership in the program since its launch, according to Sun. The United Kingdom and Israel were added because both regions have had a significant increase in startups and venture capitalist funding. "By expanding the program, we're reaching emerging as well as leading markets that adopt and adapt new technology rapidly, and we're enabling startups to get to market quickly and economically," Juan Carlos Soto, VP of market development at Sun, said in a statement.
Sun products available for discounts include Sun Fire and Sun Fire x64 servers. Hosting partners include Layered Technologies, NaviSite and NTT Europe Online. The latter company, which Sun announced Wednesday had joined the partner program, is the first Web hosting partner based in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Along with product discounts, Sun is also offering technical advice via email at no charge and access to free software, such as Apache, MySQL and other applications optimized to run on the open source Solaris operating system. Sun has set up a Web site for companies interested in joining the program.