Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sun Microsystem's multiple personality complex

[Update April 21: I no longer subscribe to the point of view expressed here, for historic value I leave the rest as it was when published. I would say that Sun is managing to adequately walk the sharp edges of Sparc/Opteron and Java and has thus become a company with long term potential]

Sun Microsystems is a leader of technology, their products rock and fly, but it is not advisable at all to invest in it, because it is a company with a multiple personality complex.

Sunw tires to sustain its business of selling servers at a premium because of their unique architecture, Sparc; but at the same time they are the owners of Java, the technology that makes irrelevant the hardware to run applications. This conflict harms them a lot, especially their Sparc line of business, which is the bread-and-butter one. Now, they are doing the best AMD Opteron servers, that can be explained by the special AMD processors Andy Bechtolsheim says mentioned, so they in effect are becoming yet another x86 server company. What about Sparc? Isn’t it true that if they were capable of doing low cost (commodity or zero-premium) Sparcs they wouldn’t need to do Opterons for entry level servers? Or conversely, what does make them think that Opterons will not be able to scale to the heights of the best Sparcs?. The same duality/dilemma applies to Solaris/Linux/Windows

Java is a technology much more logical for IBM, that’s why they have embraced it so strongly as to become second leaders of it. They have computing hardware ranging from super main frames to less than pcs, therefore, Java, just as Linux does, actually helps them to focus. Sun’s reaction to IBM’s leadership challenge in Java is to extend Java with ever more absurd things, turning what once was small and beautiful into indigestible bloatware. That’s why Java has lost relevance.

I am not CEO of Sun, just a potential investor, so I can only see too many contradictions in that company but not solutions.

I agree with Sharikou: Journal of Pervasive 64bit Computing: SUN drives me crazy. In the mean time, the Ultra 20 makes me salivate.


Anonymous said...

Java has not lost relevance. In fact it is more relevant than ever for me, with a vast ecosystem of free reusable libraries that make an application developers life easy. Hope that Sun makes enough income to keep Java going just like it is.

Eddie said...

Java has lost force to competition such as c# or .NET because it has become too unnecessary complex to use.

Sun should really try to use its design prowress to simplify the platform and then it will enjoy a second coming.

Thank you for your comment.