Thursday Aug 30, 2007

Different Isn't Always Better, But Better's Always Different

I've read the comments from my last entry - and wanted to make sure to respond to some of the points.

First, I knew ahead of time changing a ticker to which a generation had become accustomed would be hard. And that it'd draw out the cynics (or those whose only memory of the Java platform persists from the its awkward (and slow) beginnings).

We've been driving a lot of changes recently, and change is hard. Every decision has adherents and detractors (from moving to free software, to signing deals with former competitors - even getting rid of styrofoam in our cafeteria). Change is also the primary ingredient in progress. I'm committed to our decision - our ticker, and one of the highest volume equities on NASDAQ, is now JAVA. (And in response to the obvious question, the symbol SUN was unavailable, and plenty of companies name their ticker after their highest value brand, COKE among them.)

To respond to some of what I've read, here and elsewhere... do I expect a ticker change to have any impact on our share price - to be clear, none. No rational investor would buy on a ticker symbol. Investors buy on financial results or expectations (or trading patterns).

I do expect the change to drive greater awareness of the Java brand (something every Java partner has asked us for, for years), more dialog surrounding the role of Java as not just a language, but as a platform (for Ruby, Python, and other scripting languages supported on the Java Virtual Machine), and greater affinity with its inventor (Sun). How will it drive affinity? The picture below gives you just one idea - this was published globally after the market's close on Monday (and continues to be referenced when Sun is now referenced).

With all that said, my last entry stirred up a lot of comments and emails.

Thus far, my favorite (good natured) rants have come from a few individuals annoyed that their tattoos and license plates (one shown above) are now out of date; a herd of (less good natured) system administrators who threatened class action (and bodily harm) if we changed our software naming conventions (Sun software updates or packages start with the filename prefix "SUNW" - there is no plan whatever to change that - to be clear, no plan - so please, stand down!); and those that believed changing our ticker symbol cost jobs and money (the change was free to Sun - moreover, NASDAQ loves it and the Java platform so much we're working together on ways of promoting JAVA - which creates, rather than destroys, opportunity).

I've also gotten about 20, "I was on a [bus in Nepal/boat off Guam/beach in Finland/cofee shop in Vietnam, etc.] and the [driver/passenger/student/barkeep] said she knew Java but not Sun..." emails - which were generally far more supportive of the change.

Am I worried that the Java platform may not last forever (should you put it on your license plate :-) ? No. It's the single most pervasive technology Sun has ever invented - and the most valuable brand we've ever built. It's one of the few technologies that may outlast the century. I'm not worried about its permanence. Should you infer any change in strategy from the change? None, it was, purely and simply, an opportunity we didn't want to let pass.

So I appreciate the comments - not all of them were unexpected, and we'd taken most (if not all) of the issues to heart before moving forward. And I still believe it's the right answer for Sun in the long run. Time will tell.

For those interested in the history of Java's naming, I asked James Gosling, Java's inventor, for his recollection. Here's his response...

__________________________________________________________

Begin forwarded message:

From: James Gosling
Date: August 24, 2007 8:16:58 PM PDT
To: Jonathan Schwartz
Subject: How was Java named?

The story goes like this:

We needed a name. We had been using "oak" (which was selected essentially randomly by me), and while the team had grown attached to it, the trademark lawyers ruled it out. We had lots of email debates about names, but nothing got resolved. We ended up in the awkward position where the #1 thing stopping us from shipping was the name.

Our marketing lead knew someone who was a "naming consultant" (I don't remember his name, but he was great). We could neither afford the price nor the time of a conventional product naming process. He agreed to do something rather odd, but effective and quick: he acted as a facilitator at a meeting where about a dozen of us locked ourselves in a room for an afternoon. He started asking us questions like "How does this thing make you feel?" (Excited!) "What else makes you feel that way?" (Java!) We ended up with a board covered with essentially random words. Then he put us through a sorting process where we ended up with a ranking of the names. We ended up with a dozen name candidates and sent them off to the lawyers: they worked down the list until they hit one that cleared their search. "Java" was the fourth name on the list. The first name on the list was "Silk", which I hated but everyone else liked. My favorite was "Lyric", the third one on the list, but it didn't pass the lawyers test. I don't remember what the other candidate names where.

So, who named Java? Marketing organized the meeting, the consultant ran it, and a whole pile of us did a lot of yelling out of random words. I'm honestly not real sure who said "Java" first, but I'm pretty sure it was Mark Opperman.

There certainly wasn't any brilliant marketing mind who went through a coherent thought process.

________________________________

As with a lot of innovation, not every decision - nor product name, blog or line of code - starts on a spreadsheet. Opportunity's often far harder to measure.

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Comments:

Java is the best thing that can happen to computer science industry and real starting point to internet. It has undergone lot many changes than any other technology and its grown leaps & bounds from internet to mobile to Moon Rover and to every where. And the technology has shown the world that it is going to prevail for much longer time.
Well done Jonathan and definitely Java deserves this respect.

Posted by Ex SUN Employee on August 31, 2007 at 12:53 AM PDT #

Having been through a few project/product naming session the above tale sounds very familar!
I don't think innovation ever starts on a planning spreadsheet, managed chaos is a much better (and more fun) method for capitalising on serendipity & opportunity.

Posted by John Bradford on August 31, 2007 at 12:58 AM PDT #

Congratulations for the well done job so far. Sun is innovation and I think we are doing it pretty well again.

Well this is more a suggestion than a comment, so I don't mind if it is not published at all, but taken into consideration as a suggestion.

I love your blog and I try to read it, as a Sun employee, but as a lover of technology and the new trends of the market too. And one of the best characteristics of the blog is the freedom to leave comments, so you, Sun, can receive feedback from your customers.
It is true that inside Sun we are free to talk to our managers, to expose our points of view and discrepancies in the way some things are done. I find the Power of Sun a great idea to really know how the people inside Sun perceives the company. But, all that said, I think it would be fantastic if there was an internall tool to leave the comments from Sun employees, some kind of an anonimous suggestion box. Maybe it would not have the richness of the Power of Sun, but it would allow you and your board to have continous, candid and constructive feedback from the workforce. I really trust my manager, but there are things that I don't feel comfortable to talk to him, or I know he will not feel comfortable scaling up... And there are things that cannot be commented in a public site to be shared with potential customers, but taht could boost interesting internal debates. Basically, an internal version of the blog to leave employees comments would be fantastic.

By the way, I loved the ticker change. I know it will give us more awareness (and I'm a software guy after all).

Posted by SunSoft on August 31, 2007 at 01:21 AM PDT #

I love Java as much as the next guy, but:
"It's one of the few technologies that may outlast the century." ..Perhaps a little too optimistic. That being said, if changing the ticker increases awareness of Sun globally, I'm behind it, and so should be all employees and investors.
There were a fair few negative comments on your last entry, but I'm comfortable leaving the big decisions to you and your immediate team. It is very easy to criticize and idea without giving it a chance at succeeding.

Posted by 192.18.1.36 on August 31, 2007 at 02:02 AM PDT #

'Am I worried that the Java platform may not last forever...? No.' That wss the overriding message of a late-night post by Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz yesterday, in response to the welter of comments left on his blog after his announcement a week ago today of the SUNW-to-JAVA stock ticker switch that took effect on the NASDAQ already on Monday August 26...

Posted by JDJ on August 31, 2007 at 03:35 AM PDT #

Great post. It is clear that you listen and that you are thoughtful. I am convinced.

Posted by danmas on August 31, 2007 at 04:24 AM PDT #

I still think that the type of people who buy SUN stock will change over time. Not everyone who buys stock bases all their picks on statistics or other performance data. There are many investors who will invest at least some of their hard earned cash into what they know and see everyday, for SUN that is JAVA. I work with SUN computers everyday at work and at home. I am familiar with what SUN does and I am excited about the innovation coming from SUN. The SUN workforce really is on fire with efficient and innovative designs and products. I try to tell people what SUN is doing and will be doing in the future. The first comment I get from nontechnical people is I've never heard of SUN Microsystems. Then I have to explain that they make the computers, software and other equipment that makes the internet work. I then ask them if they know IBM and do they see IBM equipment or software on their desk. They say no they don't but they know both the names IBM and JAVA.
The JAVA ticker will change the demographic of who purchases and holds SUN stock. I expect that demographic to change more over time to contain more small investors who hold JAVA stock for extended periods of time as wealth is developed in China, India and other countries. You should be able to pick up more small investors in fully industrialized countries but that will take time. People in industrialized countries may be more interested in mutual fund purchases than individual stocks when compared to investors in other parts of the world. That is a question for stock market experts, I'm a computer geek.

Posted by Lee Hepler on August 31, 2007 at 06:04 AM PDT #

Johnathan,

Thanks for the explanation. The story from James is particularly interesting. Thinking about the translation of Java to Chinese, I just realize that it is also very cool--Good Baby!

zt

Posted by Zaiyong Tang on August 31, 2007 at 06:51 AM PDT #

Originally I was against the symbol change, but as soon as I typed 'JAVA' into Yahoo Finance, it just felt more natural.

Posted by Bryan Y on August 31, 2007 at 07:28 AM PDT #

Looking at the comments all those SUN employees made on the previous blog (there were nearly 370 blog entries before it closed), it's obvious that they spend hell a lot of productive time in trying to become creative writers rather than creative developers. Guys, please concentrate on how to improve the quality of your code and leave the job of improving brand recognition to Jon. People before Jon had plenty of time to prove themselves and pull SUN out of it's misery, but they all failed.

You are doing a wonderful job, Jon. You have made wonderful decisions since assuming charge. I sincerely wish your latest decision pays off. Distributing StarOffice with Google Pack was a well thought decision. And you deserve hoards of praises for that and more.

Engineers of SUN must retrospect themselves before criticizing the marketing department. Once a great company with solid products, why did it fail? Because of the declining sense of quality and increasing complacency among it's employees. It's easy to criticize others while easily overlooking your own missteps. Here's a simple math to highlight the 'productivity' of SUN employees:

38,000 SUN employees generated an annual revenue of nearly 13 Billion dollars. That's 0.34 million revenue per employee.

In comparison, 79,000 MSFT employees generated an annual revenue of nearly 44 Billion dollars. That's 0.55 million revenue per employee.

156,000 HPQ employees generated 92 Billion dollars. That's 0.58 million per employee.

82,000 DELL employees generated 57 Billion dollars. That's 0.69 million per employee.

18,000 AAPL employees generated 20 Billion dollars. That's 1.1 million per employee.

1,700 GATEWAY employees generated 4 Billion dollars. That's an astounding 2.35 million per employee ..!! Whoosh...

See..? SUN employees have the lowest revenue/employee ratio. Now, please stop whining and crying and sighing and cursing about a petty ticker symbol. Get back to work (serious work, that is) and improve the quality of your output. Make your products as lovable as they were before. Great quality products make happy customers. Happy customers make unpaid sales force. Unpaid sales force increase the revenues. Period.

Posted by Janardhana on August 31, 2007 at 08:10 AM PDT #

One point from your last blog comments I'm wondering about; can the Java load screen get a Sun logo? Can it be used to leverage company awareness? I'm glad to see that the shift hasn't had the disastrous impact many were predicting, but while everyone might recognize Java, that isn't the same as knowing Sun.

Posted by Chip on August 31, 2007 at 08:18 AM PDT #

Please forgive this question without a smooth segue. I know there has to be a perfectly logical answer that is just beyond my grasp.

Why doesn't Sun advertise more in the media? I'm so sick of being bombarded by IBM commercials during every show I watch. Their latest IBM Blade commercials are especially annoying. It's Sun that getting all the awards for our ECO friendly line and Sun's Solaris 10 features that enable the most potent "1-2 punch" ever in the battle versus IT TCO. And it's Sun's JAVA that virtually enables all internet business. So why does Sun continue to be the best IT solutions provider no one knows about?

Posted by Michael J. Walsh on August 31, 2007 at 08:58 AM PDT #

"I've also gotten about 20, "I was on a [bus in Nepal/boat off Guam/beach in Finland/cofee shop in Vietnam, etc.] and the [driver/passenger/student/barkeep] said she knew Java but not Sun..." emails - which were generally far more supportive of the change."

And that's the best you can offer in the way of supportive emails? So how is changing the stock ticker going to improve those peoples' awareness of Sun, exactly?

The change may not have cost Sun anything financially in a direct sense, but how many man hours and meetings did it take to come up with it? How much will it cost to send letters to send out to shareholders to tell them what's going on? That's the money people want to see spent on more tangible improvements to Sun products and services.

And yes, the stock price has trended upwards for a few days, but that was always going to happen short-term due to the novelty value-- overall it's still just basically tracked the NASDAQ trend since Monday, just as it has for years.

Posted by SW on August 31, 2007 at 09:15 AM PDT #

Janardhana , please tell me you're not a manager. Slap those manacles on! What the hell is the CEO doing blogging when he could be wielding a lash?

Posted by Kemp Watson on August 31, 2007 at 09:28 AM PDT #

"As with a lot of innovation, not every decision - nor product name, blog or line of code - starts on a spreadsheet. Opportunity's often far harder to measure."

And more often than not, the gut feeling tells you it's right. Java was one example of this. "Project Darkstar" is yet another and will continue to prove out over time :)

Posted by Chris Melissinos on August 31, 2007 at 09:30 AM PDT #

When I told my teenage kids about the change from sunw to java they said it was a good idea. The told me that before I started working for Sun they had never heard of Sun Microsystems, but they had heard of JAVA. My 15 year old son said, "JAVA is on every piece of electronic equipment I know of."

He and his friends are our future investors.

Posted by Kelly Waugh on August 31, 2007 at 09:31 AM PDT #

Great post, although I thought Java was named so for totally different reasons!

Keep up the good work

Posted by James Berry on August 31, 2007 at 09:55 AM PDT #

oak hmm .. how about poison oak? that's often how i feel about it - contagious and itchy

Posted by jon e on August 31, 2007 at 09:57 AM PDT #

Brand value is important. Eight years ago I was amazed by my Aunt Mary, who was 88 years old at the time, when I mentioned I just started work at Sun, she responded, "Oh, yes, that Java company." I'm sure she didn't know what a programming language was but she knew that Java was important and she associated it with Sun.

Posted by Larry Chew on August 31, 2007 at 09:59 AM PDT #

Jonathan-

Back when I worked with you in dev tools, we talked about the fact that Sun could be a wonderful software company if it ever put its mind to it. I think the ticker symbol change is a small step in the right direction; I hope it becomes symbolic of the change at Sun.

As always, the best of luck!

Posted by Bill Moffitt on August 31, 2007 at 10:42 AM PDT #

TO Janardhana:

You said: 1,700 GATEWAY employees generated 4 Billion dollars. That's an astounding 2.35 million per employee ..!! Whoosh...

With Gateway now being bought by Acer, any comments???

Posted by anon on August 31, 2007 at 10:49 AM PDT #

Noting the successful name selection meeting and the brainstorming and multivoting method used to rank the names and eventually select "Java," I must point out, here we have yet another demonstrated effective use of Sigma methodologies and tools. Now .... (marketeers, please take notes here) ...... onto the House of Quality!

Posted by Sigma on August 31, 2007 at 11:44 AM PDT #

Results don't lie. JAVA has seen a steady increase in stock price, all week. Congrats, Jonathan, and thanks for redirecting the focus of Sun Microsystems, we needed it. I do not think that Java is everywhere, though...yet.:) I think the onus is on us, though, to put Java everywhere, though. The more we can move the focus from the internet to everyday, the larger our stage, focus, realm of possibility becomes. Java in the microwave, in the television, in the telephone, in the stove, in the lighting, in the ceiling fan, in the A/C, in the car. The possibilities are endless. It's about time Java and it's programmers and devlopers lived up to their potential. Any platform, anywhere, anytime. Write once, run everywhere. On thing that I would like to see more of is tieing Sun Microsystems in with music. It would be nice to see Sun Microsystems as a sponsor of a few large music festivals, each summer, stoking the youth. They are the future, you know. You don't have veggies at the end of the season, if you don't plant the seeds at the beginning of the season. :) To furthur this end, perhaps advertising in more college/university newspapers around the country and internationally. Most colleges and universities still have them, ya know. :) Build their recognition of Java and Sun. That is all. Sun Rocks! :)
Mark

Posted by Mark Buckingham on August 31, 2007 at 11:44 AM PDT #

Sun Micro is still not exactly been in your face advertising at all lately. 99% or us still never heard of Sun Micro nor JAVA for all that matters.
JAVA is a major improvement over SUNW, that is for sure. It makes my portfolio look more balanced as I have no other symbols beginning with "J".
There is something that you have to understand although the rest of us are still clueless is that Microsoft is just starting to become a closed system. It means that Microsoft will start doing everything itself like Apple is doing all along. Anybody trying to suck up to Microsoft and hoping to take a peek inside its vaunted Microcode can go suck eggs. I have had my fills with so called whining competitors making lawsuits against Microsoft. Sun MIcro was lucky to win several billions from Microsoft.
Just watch Microsoft.. Microsft is starting up bulldozers at the crack of dawn today.
I think Sun better start looking for merger candidates. Why dont Sun run to Apple ? Save your shareholders not your employees..

Posted by Gumby on August 31, 2007 at 11:58 AM PDT #

Why is James Gosling's blog not present in your Blogroll ? I think you should remove blogs that not frequently updated and add James's blog instead.

Posted by Java Guy on August 31, 2007 at 01:00 PM PDT #

I just love how Johnny always has to mention JAVA is one of the highest volumes stocks and will appear in business section "highlights" on a regular basis. What he is neglecting to mention is that it is a high volume stock that does nothing in terms of growth. The only people who read the highlights of the business section are the people who already know about Sun and its' pathetic performance the last 6 years.

The only hope Sun has to become a real player again is to sell the microelectronics division and become a software company. Sparc is just a big money sink run by people who never adhere to budget or schedules. And what is worse, they are never held accountable for slipping schedule or over-spending. I just wish someone on the executive staff knew something about chip design and manufacturing to understand how inept microelectronics has become.

Posted by cut the pony tail on August 31, 2007 at 01:18 PM PDT #

I agree 100% with the above comment posted by "cut the pony tail" - "What he is neglecting to mention is that it is a high volume stock that does nothing in terms of growth" and the suggestion that unprofitable businesses must be sold if there is any hope of recovering Sun stock. When do we expect revenues to go up ? When do we expect SUNW/Java to move up ? If Sun executives really believed in Sun, they would be putting their money where the mouth is. How many Sun executives are investing their millions in Sun stock ? We have been busy glorifying Sun when we know that the competition is beating is badly.

Posted by 192.18.43.225 on August 31, 2007 at 02:21 PM PDT #

Did you know that the Google Pack now includes SUN STAR OFFICE (which is commercial) for free??

Read more: http://www.googlepackdownload.info

Posted by Google Pack on August 31, 2007 at 03:18 PM PDT #

"...the change was free to Sun..."

Um... NO.

A CEO who makes millions of dollars annually is spending time explaining this symbol change to the world. That costs Sun money.

Sun employees are spending time explaining the change to each other and to people outside Sun. That costs Sun money.

Tons of web pages and documents need to be changed to reflect the new stock symbol. That costs Sun money.

And worst of all, lots of us Sun customers are confused by yet another inexplicable "branding" move by Sun. Some people think you're getting out of the hardware business and doing only Java. Some think you might be doing Java and also the random collection of products you sell that have "Java" in their name, for reasons none of us can fathom.

NASDAQ may not have charged you to do it, but the move unquestionably cost Sun a lot of money.

Oh, and better isn't always different. Ask Coca Cola about that one.

Posted by Please Think Of The CUSTOMERS For A Change on August 31, 2007 at 03:44 PM PDT #

It's curious how Schwartz uses humor to address those who responded unfavorably to the
ticker change. Gimmicks and humor are often interpreted as signs of disrespect; in this case disrespect for the individuals who took the time to post their serious considerations, and disrespect for Sun the institution.

If Sun was serious about choosing the right ticker name, why not ask customers to choose Sun's ticker? Would JAVA have been the final selection?

So, 'time will tell', but in the meantime, we are supposed to believe that Sun's gift to the world is Java, and that Sun cannot exist without Java. I don't think Sun's absolute dependence on Java is something to desire, or even to hope for.

Rather, if 'Better is Different', Sun must inevitably develop a new language that is different than Java to become better. Do you follow?

Sometimes, change is not better...

Posted by 69.15.83.18 on August 31, 2007 at 03:50 PM PDT #

"Our marketing lead knew someone who was a "naming consultant" (I don't remember his name, but he was great)."

Am I the only one who sees the obvious contradiction here? :-)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 31, 2007 at 04:17 PM PDT #

We would like to know similar story about how Sun OS got renamed to Solaris. Who picked the name? He/she must be a branding genius.

Posted by Solarismisc on August 31, 2007 at 05:03 PM PDT #

Regarding two previous comments about revenue per employee,
a more useful measure is gross *profit* per employee, ala:

http://www.culpepper.com/eBulletin/2005/AugustRatiosArticle.asp

or even better, net income per employee. Even these metrics
are simplistic, as employee overhead (salary, lab costs) are different
across industries and geographies. Gateway was a "hollowed-out"
corporation (x86 box assembler/distributor) not a software
value-added R&D powerhouse such as Sun and Apple.

Posted by retiarius on August 31, 2007 at 05:07 PM PDT #

Poor choice of example, Jonathan. COKE doesn't own the "Coke" brand name. They just license it from the Coca Cola Co. (stock symbol KO).

Posted by Still a SUNW investor on August 31, 2007 at 05:28 PM PDT #

For the record, The Coca Cola Company's symbol is KO. Coca Cola Bottling Company Consolidated (COKE) is a bottling company for KO.

Personally, I think that the flak over the symbol change will pass, especially if the new Sun delivers reliable financial results to its shareholders.

Posted by W^L+ on August 31, 2007 at 06:58 PM PDT #

Jonathan,
Two comments. First, I think it was very important that you acknowledged Mark Opperman's possible contribution, and given the direction all this is taking, take what steps are required to verify it. Your company could reap many rewards, both internally and externally, by giving credit for this where credit is due. Perhaps you should even consider giving Mark and the Java team a stock kicker for what is turning out to be perhaps the most potent piece of collective genius to come out of sun.
Second, I was struck by $ per employee comparisons in one of the recent posts, what do yoy think Gateway knows that you guys don't yet? John Gage introduced me to some of your finance folks some years ago, due to his receptivity to the work I have been doing using the scientific method for dealing with the near total irrelevance of financial data for giving people who do real work a score they can use to exceed their personal best. What are you doing to address that spread, and are you open to assistance from out in left field? How do you think the current scoring system is working for your whole team? How well did it work for the JAVA team?

Posted by Jahn Ballard on August 31, 2007 at 10:40 PM PDT #

I am a former Sun employee & I bought a new cell phone a few months ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was powered by JAVA. Yeah! In fact call me a sap, but it brought a smile to my face. =) It's about time that Sun is recognized by the mainstream!!

I confer with the others who have indicated that they have talked to many people who did not know of Sun, but many have heard of JAVA! I agree with the philosophy that this may assist in bringing the two names together with the greater public.

So move outta da way, you old folkies & make some room for the new gen! Way to go, Sun-shizzle! You da bomb! =) TRANSLATION SUMMARY: Give change a chance. Sun needs to appeal to the young as well as the old. Sun is great!

Posted by Ariel on August 31, 2007 at 11:36 PM PDT #

I would assume you picked up your slogan from the same Sun coffee mug that is on my desk.

Posting the package name clarification probably silence the biggest noisy question from your customers, so much credit for making it known.

Oh, and replying to a previous comment - seeing the Sun logo right next to every Java logo would be great. Perhaps even something promoting Solaris!

Posted by www2.purplecow.org on September 01, 2007 at 12:49 AM PDT #

If it wasn't planned it's worked out very well that now every news story that quotes tickers is now reading along the lines of:

"Today Sun Microsystems Inc. (JAVA) announced yet another ECO-computing first..."

This moves the awareness of a connection between Sun and (our) Java into more pages that your average Jo(e) on the Web might click themselves onto.

I don't see how it can hurt, and if we can continue at this weeks trend ($0.35/week) onto a monthly basis ($1.96/month) I don't think anyone will care what we call the ticker!

Posted by ColinJ on September 01, 2007 at 01:33 AM PDT #

But is or isn't this the beginning of a renewed onslaught of the oft-ridiculed "Java Desktop System" naming... weirdness (to put it politely), which many would actually like to see reversed instead?

Posted by RJS on September 01, 2007 at 03:59 AM PDT #

"It's one of the few technologies that may outlast the century."

Oh God, please don't keep beating the compatibility drum until then, Java will become the legacy language of the 90's which no sane person with a choice will want to touch.

Posted by 87.49.167.122 on September 01, 2007 at 06:59 AM PDT #

It's good to see that you view the JVM as closer to Microsoft's Common Language Runtime (CLR) - i.e. a virtual machine to run whichever language suits the task at hand. I remember crashing a Berkeley lecture about 8 years ago when I said to the Sun Java guy giving the lecture "unless Sun gets behind JavaScript, Visual Basic will have more momentum than Java." Back then JVM meant "Java language only." Your script extensions to Java and your general new approach to meeting the customer's needs (X64, IBM, Intel) rather than prescribing a Sun solution are really refreshing. Good luck!

Posted by Kevin on September 01, 2007 at 09:15 AM PDT #

Jonathan, I got my lunch to go in a styrofoam container less than 2 weeks ago at the cafe in BUR. I hate the things. They get holes if you use forks and knives to eat the food from them, then they leak all over you. When will the "no styrofoam" rule reach us on the East Coast?

P.S. I often see the car with that "SUNW" tag during my daily commute. (there is still a very large community of us who don't iwork.) "Live free or die" is the motto on the New Hampshire plates. Very amusing given the move to free software you mention here.

Posted by works in BUR on September 01, 2007 at 04:53 PM PDT #

Congratulations on getting rid of the styrofoam.

Posted by Mikel Manitius on September 02, 2007 at 11:37 AM PDT #

OK, I got it. Jonathan is always right. Even if he isn't. The clowns have clearly taken over Sun.

Posted by 127.0.0.1 on September 03, 2007 at 01:59 PM PDT #

Sun was never good at software, only good at hardware. That move means they no longer have the intention, and probably also not the talent, to keep up the quality of their hardware. Instead they want to become yet another run-of-the-mill software house, pumping out x86 junkware. Good luck with that "bright" idea.

Posted by 192.168.2.23 on September 03, 2007 at 02:10 PM PDT #

..."There certainly wasn't any brilliant marketing mind who went through a coherent thought process."

No need to waste the ink on the above comment. The world would agree that Sun is
bereft of Marketing talent.

Posted by Mickey on September 04, 2007 at 06:20 AM PDT #

Typing in SUNW to find out the ticker no longer exists is so annoying.

Posted by 69.84.114.50 on September 04, 2007 at 12:04 PM PDT #

A Sun Fan since 1990.
Just a note to all those who dislike Java, and Sun.
Take a good long look at Sun Microsystems will you. They are still standing, they've outlasted ALL other unix variants, and java helped them ALOT! it's carried the company for some time. It's a stock ticker who cares. As for DEL beating Sun on the mid range market, that won't last long. Suns support staff are better trained, more effcient, and generally nicer then DELLs staff. They are not just trained MCSE goons with no &*()ing clue what thier talking about. DELL is cheaper you say and suns prices are too high? yeah well they havea right to be we're talking 20+ years more experience with UNIX! anybody not able to see that is blind. Sun should spend less time marketing it's technonoly and start marketing it's people it's experience, which are the true GEMS who who have rpooven time and time again as companies still rush rightback to SUN Solaris when thier copetition fails miserably to provide the same service. and with Solaris being /Free/ (which is amazing since they've spent MILLIONS developing it) they should start TV commercials like microsoft did in the early 90's witha a catchy tune...I guarantee that they would probably regain a fair share of thier server market. Lets look at hostry Microsoft software is horrable!!! HORRABLE! all they did was market correctly... and viola billions of people waste billions and a wasted effort comprised of an flaws and sercurity holes. Now if they could just build an easy to use desktop variant of Solaris/Linux... market that properly who knows where it would take them.

Posted by Nathan on September 05, 2007 at 10:19 AM PDT #

What are you guys at SUNW doing? I get the impression that you are working as hard as you can to destroy a once profitable company. First you change the name, as if that would get investors more interested in the company's product. WRONG! Investors are intrested in high quality products that make money for shareholders. SUNW or JAVA will do neither; hence a name change smacks of smoke and mirrors from Sun's highest management -- if you could call it that.

Now you want to reverse split the stock 1:4. Good thinking guys. I'm sure the Street will love it. Why? Because short traders will be able to run the price from $20 a share down to $5 and quadruple their investment virtually overnight, while deminishing the company's market value from about $15 billion to $4 billion.

If you guys could just do what's right -- RESIGN -- and bring in some real business talent, the company "might" have a chance of survival. Otherwise, I expect a slow death over the new couple of years.

Pathetic!

Posted by MJH on September 05, 2007 at 04:36 PM PDT #

7150 shares of SUNW... nope JAVA... Sure, that's small potatoes, but I'm bettin' on you none the less. And, I have been doing so for a while so I've made a little :) I for one have no problem with name change. I love the blog, I love the innovation.

However, I like my Mac too. What's the chance of you getting along with Steve and taking over Java for Mac OS X? Might make us both some more money :)

Posted by Rich on September 05, 2007 at 07:42 PM PDT #

[Trackback] Is it just me, or are nearly all large companies treating their customers like dirt? In the last few months, I have had negative experiences with: Two computer vendors A mobile telephone service provider An automobile rental company A large discount r...

Posted by Working @ WebConnectConsulting.com on September 09, 2007 at 04:43 PM PDT #

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