Computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc is preparing to take on web retailer Inc in the fledgling market for cloud computing services that can be accessed via the Internet.

Cloud computing has become the industry's biggest buzzword. It is a catch-all term to describe systems that allow consumers, developers and businesses to use the Internet to access programs and data at remote computer centers.

The Sun Cloud services, which mirror ones that Amazon has offered for three years, will initially be targeted at students, computer programmers and start-ups that cannot afford to buy their own servers and storage equipment.

Executives with the Santa Clara, California-based Sun plan to demonstrate the new services, which will be available this summer, at a developers' conference in New York on Wednesday. They will also discuss plans to optimize Sun software, including Java, MySQL and OpenSolaris, for use in cloud computing.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)