Subject: Re: What should Sun do?
From: Alan Hudson <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 09:23:32 -0800

Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

>>>>>>"Marshall" == Marshall W Van Alstyne <marshall@MIT.EDU> writes:
>    A quick look at the job postings suggests that investment in Java
>    runs both broad and deep, but it's hard for Sun to capture more
>    than a tiny amount of that.
>    On the other hand, I see very little awareness of Open Office as a
>    platform.  The circles I hang out in are not going to be looking
>    at Open Office as a potential platform for their own development,
>    it's true.  But they're pretty OSS-oriented, so if a general
>    perception of OO as a platform were growing, I suspect I'd pick it
>    up.
>Maybe they're just blowing it on the education side for OO, but the
>Java experience suggests they'd have a hard time exploiting platform
>leadership there, too.
Tis a bit strange.  I've programmed Java for almost a decade.  And I've 
never sent money directly to Sun.  I've
worked with them a lot, but I have always wondered where they get money 
from Java.  Internal discussions with employees
suggest they see great advantage to producing Java.  I certainly respect 
and value the work they've done. 

I don't think selling more hardware is the answer for them.  PC's are 
just too cheap and realiable/performant enough that the premium for Sun 
boxes might only be worth it in a niche case.  That niche is likely 
lucrative, but I doubt Sun can prosper with just that.

Ah books, ok I have bought something from them, indirectly.  A lot of 
the best Java books are from Sun employees.  But I don't know if Sun 
receives anything from that.

I know they receive a decent amount of money doing licensing of test 
kits and trade marks.  But this has also lead to the demise of some good 
work...  JINI was a good example in my mind of nice design but it got 
killed by licensing issues. 

Well this is mostly a ramble, but I would really like to see Sun figure 
a way to profit from Java without killing it.