eWeek’s Steve Gillmor has an interview with the Sun president and COO. Excerpts:
SG: There are some very interesting technologies that not only live in the Java space but also have some application in terms of interoperability across the .Net platform. And it would seem to be of use and some value in regards to many things, including the RSS platform you and I have been discussing, establishing a thick, intelligent client that goes beyond Microsoft’s lock-in and control of the browser. Are you going to be supportive of this kind of an idea, or is there something about BEA’s strategy that you find not particularly conducive to a loosely coupled alliance?
JS: We’re very open to partnering with BEA. We have a few common competitors, and we’ve always been pretty impressed with their innovation and capacity to execute. What you point out, though, is that one of the single biggest challenges in the software marketplace has been and will forever be distributionhow do you get your code out into half a billion desktops? Unless you have ubiquity, you’re not going to get people to rely upon your service. One way around that is to basically take the Google path, which is to say, “I’m going to provide distribution by being really good at what I do and relying on no runtime other than that provided by Microsoft.” Now, there’s a danger to that predilection: Microsoft could elect to disable your service at any point [with] a simple upgrade to their browser. And thus, Google is worried about Microsoft’s ability to compete with them. So, what we do with Java distribution and how we continue to evolve that platform are of acute interest to me and my team, because we already have the distribution, and now, as you rightly point out, we’ve got to figure out a way of leveraging that distribution in some way other than simply providing a platform for downloads off of Java.com.
SG: You don’t have to partner with BEA as much as to encourage this loosely coupled framework that would allow a much more high-fidelity and potentially transaction-oriented technology, which by the way also works just as well if not better on [Mozilla] Firefox.
JS: We agree with you.