Sun, Java and Linux

Sun bets its future on Java is the contention of David Berlind of ZDnet:

Contrary to popular belief, Sun’s recently announced forays into desktop and server-based Linux are not all about belatedly jumping on the same bandwagon as most of its competition (including IBM, HP, Dell, and Intel). Instead, the move is all about placing the biggest bet in Sun’s history.

I’ve repeatedly maintained in this column that processing power–a.k.a. MIPS–is a commodity. For all but the most finicky of technology buyers, the difference between SPARC and the Intel architecture (IA) is now, more than ever, about price. It’s a war Sun cannot win.

The latest idea is to break with the Sun tradition that has long exalted Solaris/SPARC as the ruling technology and replace it with the heir to that throne: Java.

The Java ecosystem may be Sun’s best and most natural bet….Java may already have ten times more developers than Solaris. Despite Microsoft’s recent decision to stop bundling the virtual machine with Windows, Java has a volume rivaled only by Windows. And the Java applications base is rising rapidly.

But it’s also the stool’s weakest leg. For Java to succeed Solaris/SPARC in the Sun kingdom, Sun had to concede that Solaris and SPARC are commodities. That would clear the way for Intel and Linux support, both of which Rob Gingell (of Sun) also sees as commodities, and both of which are already a part of the Java ecosystem. In fact, given Java’s independence from the operating system and hardware layers, Intel’s and Linux’s volume make them more important drivers of the Java ecosystem than either Solaris or SPARC will ever be.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.