Apple has announced a colossal price cut for its market-leading WebObjects Web-based application server software.

The company also revealed that the next version of the program will be written entirely in Java. The price has dropped to $699, which includes both WebObjects developer tools and a high-end deployment licence that allows unlimited useage on one server. The previous price for this package was $50,000.

WebObjects 5 for Java will ship later this year, and is to be built using 100 per cent Java technology. The concentration on Java means Web developers will be able to build Web-based applications able to run on any Java-supporting server. Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) and Java databases will also be supported.

“WebObjects is the premiere software for rapidly deploying and developing Web applications to millions of users worldwide” Said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer.