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Microsoft Can Outspend Sun Tenfold & On Anything Says Father of Java

Microsoft Can Outspend Sun Tenfold & On Anything Says Father of Java

(September 27, 2002) - James Gosling concedes in a press interview this week that the sheer profitability of archrival Microsoft Corporation gives them a 10-to-1 spending advantage.

"They can outspend us on anything," says Gosling.

Asked whether Jonathan Schwartz's recent appointment as Executive Vice-President of Sun's new Software Group was likely to alter the course of Java in any significant way, Gosling is upbeat, speculating that Schwartz's team's commitment to "exploit the synergies" between the three legs of Sun's software effort - Solaris, Java, and the product world - "should be interesting" since the three elements had never before been brought together.

"The thing that has been changing," Gosling says, "has been Sun's increasing focus on software, and increasing commitment to software."

Asked about Web services, the Father of Java repeats the well-known stance that he already took when keynoting at Web Services Edge 2001 (East) in New York City last year. "People have been building Web services under different names for 20 or 30 years," he explains. "We've been building distributed systems for years out using CORBA and RMI and all of that."

On the subject of XML he remarks: "One of the descriptions of XML is that it is HTML for a silicon-based life form. . . .But as a matter of common practice, people haven't been doing a lot of interconnection between disjointed organizations that also are distributed."

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JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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Most Recent Comments
Alex EL HOMSI 10/14/02 01:49:00 AM EDT

Do not underestimate the power of the human brain: a few brilliant minds can defeat all the minds that Microsoft or Sun have.

A revolution is in the works, and soon to be unleashed ...

Brian McKendrick 10/11/02 09:36:00 PM EDT

I work in the cable industry, secure content delivery (ie: distributing content from studios/aggregatiuon points to the Cable sites) - we would not even consider deploying any of our dist. apps on anything M$ with the current state of it's security. What enterprise app ( serious biz, not the local Pet Store - real $$$ ) would put their assets out there for the taking on a Microsoft server. Until M$ can provider a secure environment, what mission critical apps will be deployed on it, using .NET or any other framework?????

GreatMan 10/08/02 06:12:00 PM EDT

I agree with a lot of people about the strengths and weaknesses of both the technologies. I use both J2EE and .NET and know when to use what. If I have to write a core enterprise server with high volume and high scalability requirements, I need to use J2EE. If I have to develop some low volume standalone web services, I do that using .NET. But what concerns me is that Microsoft investing money on some companies and asking them to use .NET. That kind of make the companies CEO/CIOs to force the IT to use .NET everywhere. That really sucks. With 50 billion in cash, Microsft can do all these crap to get Java out of the door in the big enterprises. This may sound bad, but that's the truth. In this country MONEY TALKS AND BULLSHIT WORKS.....

Ken G. 10/02/02 12:23:00 PM EDT

In response to George Giles's comment "Sun is nearly a corpse, they have made the classic mistake of thinking they are both a software and a hardware company.....Microsoft has successfully stayed clear of that trap" I must remind him of Microsoft's attempt to market a diskless network workstation a couple of years back. That project fell on it's ugly face even before anyone had the chance to tell MS what a fiasco that was.
Let us also not forget the MS attempt to encapsulate it's CE OS into a proprietary PDA...again it fell on it's ugly face.
True, MS has recently steered clear of trying to become a hardware vendor (with exception of the X-Box), but not after multiple failures of it's own.

An Engineer 10/01/02 12:24:00 PM EDT

I agree to Mr/Ms Real World's comment.
We also should specify the context, is it enterprize-wide app or open-internet based. obviously Sun's EJB paradigm does not feet to the second because one can not plug wire RMI into internet. thats why Sun's block is embracing web services. On the other side in enterprize-wide apps the idea of managing all the GUI related objects with EJB is driving me nuts. Where you can have intelligent enough front-ends to take care of their mess! you just need pump back and forth the data frame in XML and that's all.
Also the fact that Microsoft has always been good to hack a app (RAD) is unbeatable.
Another point worth mentioning is that aesthetically Java and related technologies are number one in design and the extra classes in .NET can be replenished easily in 1.5 if necceessary at all (Messaging API is absolute neccessity which is missing I recommend JMS).
Last word in regard to Mr/Ms Real World's statement I can build same apps you built in EJB or .NET merely by Java and XML!

michael 10/01/02 09:44:00 AM EDT

IBM is a world leader. I have used IBM390-based DB2 for 10 years. I am forced to deal with Sybase and Oracle at this point and it is unpleasant. Most of the time it feels like traveling to Erope and renting a FIAT after you drove BMW for many years.
I am working with WSAD and WAS 4.0 now and both products are good and improving. I don't care much for the developers complaining of the complexities of WAS - too bad. It is a best product on the interprise level. Trust me, I have been to WebLogic horror show.

Thank you.

Tony 10/01/02 09:33:00 AM EDT

Name one decent software product that Microsoft has ever developed? Tell me how an operating system that requires a reboot when you install Yahoo Instant Messenger is a good design? Tell me how word processing software should *ever* bloat to nearly 1/2 GB? Name one decent product that can back up your claim?

Using strongarm tactics and poor design to corner the market does not make Microsoft the experts in software development.

Java is better designed language than anything Microsoft has ever conceived of, and that's why it was adopted by the development community which brought it into the corporate world. C# is a poor attempt to follow on Java's success.


Rick Meisenholder 09/30/02 04:46:00 PM EDT

How long are people going to continue to beat this dead horse? Which is best? Last I heard both Sun and Microsoft products worked. Pick the one you like and leave it at that. Leave the arguing to the childish billionaires McNealy and Gates. If you want to criticize something why don't you criticize Sun, IBM and Oracle outsourcing their customer support to India. These have all been successful companies without sending jobs overseas. If we don't do something about this the only jobs in the US will be sales positions. All the software development will be done in India and China.

Phil Mitchell 09/30/02 12:57:00 PM EDT

Microsoft focuses on marketing, user features, and time to market, in that order. Reliability, scalability, security, etc., etc. are all handled if they manage to eliminate their competition. Those that go to .Net can expect a weak infrastructure (although their loud and prolific marketers will, of course, tell you different) for five more years.

The truth is that one tool does not fit all needs. Java will fill the niche of the industrial strength solution, and Microsoft will likely be able to capture the developers whose work isn't as critical, who like the wider training opportunities, ease of adoption, promise that it everything will work if you just do it their way. Some people buy the house for the good plumbing, some buy it for the nice paint job.

Fortunately, I think programming languages and application development are sufficiently different arenas from operating systems that the same dynamics that have given Microsoft its monopoly on the desktop won't carry over. Unless, of course, they are allowed to expand their anticompetitive practices.

java digital matrix 09/30/02 12:29:00 PM EDT

As one that has some knowledge in this area, I can tell you that Sun from a technological sense is extremely healthy. From a industry positioning sense it is also extremely healthy. From a revenue and economic position - it is subject to the same economic conditions that are problematic for everyone - including Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, HP and others. The economy is in a very nasty downturn. I spend a lot of time looking at fundamentals not at stock charts - my thoughts are that Sun fundamentals are very good. Market analysts desire quick returns on investments - the current market is not about quick returns. The current economic climate has been bleak and has been made more bleak by a number of factors that transcend the usual economic up-and-downs. Very few people can predict when and how we get out of the current technology recession/depression.

It is pretty clear that Java has taken hold and is dominating the enterprise and mobile markets. Very few technically savvy people even on the Microsoft side would argue against that. Meanwhile, as Bill Gates himself has suggested - Microsoft .NET has not been as widely accepted within the Microsoft community as they had anticipated (he gave acceptance a C). Other would not be so kind. Over 90% of the IT middleware market is Java-based. It is difficult to put .NET on truly scalable servers - Java has scaled on certain applications beyond 100 CPUs with 100 Gigabytes of memory. Scalability and security continue to haunt Microsoft. Every day seems to bring more bad news about some particular virus or security hole - this being the result of using legacy software which is based on a highly insecure model of computing.

Java is an industry. It is not a product set - as is .Net. How many C# IDEs are available ? Very few - how about for all practical purposes - one. Compare that with Java where there are many. How many commercial CLRs are available from other sources ? For all practical purposes - one. Again compare that with Java where the likes of Oracle, IBM and many others offer competing and conforming Java Virtual Machines. As a consumer you have a choice to pick the best available to you. How many operating system platforms does .Net commercially run on ? Again practically only one. Java runs on many competing operating systems and hardware platforms. Java has many, many companies spending on it, not just Sun. It is a mistake to believe that Microsoft alone can innovate - yet if you look at how .Net is advanced versus how Java is advanced you see another stark difference. For example, many companies collaborated on specifying what would go into the Java Virtual Machine (1.4). How many companies had input to what would go into the the current CLR ?

In the end, Sun is one company among many that is using Java. Microsoft will not destroy Sun - nor will it hurt Java. It may in the end make it better - because competition is always a good thing.


steve donato 09/30/02 10:39:00 AM EDT

When an article suggests that MicroSoft
provides great software andSun should stick to what it knows best (implying the should not focus on Software) They should take a look at JAVA which worked right out of the BOX.
Then tell me the name of a software component os similar magnatude that MicroSoft launched with out hanging the machine from time to time.
The one thing MicroSoft still has not learned from SUN or IBM is, software quality. IBM stuff works, Sun stuff works Microsoft stuff works some of the time.

Chris 09/30/02 08:41:00 AM EDT

I think you misread the article. Gosling says "we've been building distributed systems for years out [sic] using CORBA and RMI".

I'm assiming that's a misprint and he said "without using". Distributed computing does not imply TCP/IP or any of that other stuff. Distributed applications have been developed for years without this technology. Newer technologies like TCP/IP and the high availability of network resources just make it earier to do today, in the (new) form of "web services".

Jim Wyckoff 09/30/02 08:22:00 AM EDT

In my opinion if Microsoft had tried to produce a product that worked properly or at least 95% error free without the attitude of produce it wither it works or not. If IBM had given OS2 the capability to read and write DOS formatted records. This would be a different world. True Microsoft’s vision has been exceptional but if it were not so flawed in practicality they would be better off. With the mix of Linux and Java if developers utilize the proper development of systems with open source there will be no need for Microsoft. Microsoft’s next step is to lease their software so no one can control it or own it. We must be prepared for their next step. Why do you think they have heavily invested in Satellite communications? Those software developer that truly believe in producing a product that works right at least 98% error free with no deadlocks will unite we will be free of the monetary mentality of software kings.

Anonymous 09/30/02 05:47:00 AM EDT

It seems to me that sir, you are only a user of Microsoft's software and you have not been schooled in the history of computing. How it all started in the good old days, when the UI were command driven and not pretty like Microsoft's. Bill Gates is a marketing specialist, give him credit for that, but a programmer he is not. You too sir, and many other people could probably use Microsoft's products very well( remember that millions and millions of children can also use this software but still not yet able to read and write properly, it just goes to show that one does not have to read and write properly to use programs, all you need is at least the 'IQ' of a child to do so).A positive from this is that there are many lessons to be learnt.

Cherish Longport 09/29/02 04:24:00 PM EDT

Today in America we love things that are cheap, fast and easy. We all know we shouldn’t east junk fast-food, read trashy journalism or rely on Microsoft software, but we do. We know better but we love this stuff, for most in a secretive shameful way. This is the reason businesses like McDonalds, paparazzi benefactors like the National Enquirer and garbage bloatware like Microsoft enjoy such capitalistic success. Gates is moral? Please morality belongs to those with the biggest guns, or in post cold war America, the biggest bank account.

Perhaps the only scary thing is that unlike McDonalds and the National Enquirer, Microsoft is allowed to practice business in a shameful anti-trust fashion. But who cares? We will continue to eat our fat laden Big Macs, and watch Entertainment tonight while waiting on a Windows XP reboot after a crash.

If you whtink that we should only have one vendor for all of software you are quite mad and indeed a fool that has learned nothing from history. Open standards is a movement we can’t afford to let die, and in the interest of pure profit Mircosoft is doing everything they can to kill it.

“We must piss on Java every chance we get” excerp from a Memo to executives from Microsoft CEO Bill Gates

I guess this the new Morality...

Alexander Jerusalem 09/29/02 12:07:00 PM EDT

Of course you can think of pretty much everything in the world in this way: Everything has it's strengths and weaknesses, it's benefits and drawbacks and as long as the sky doesn't fall on our heads, everything is fine. You may call that undogmatic. I call it short sighted.

What really matters is productivity and productivity can be hurt in unexpected ways. I remember the days when I was building my software on top of Microsofts COM. It happened more often than not, that one of my customers changed some settings on their machine and broke my software although the settings were presumably unrelated to my software. In the end I had to care about a user's proxy settings in Internet Explorer or if a new version of Office was being installed or if a customer upgraded from NT 4 to Win 2000. Everything that MS does depends on everything else they do. There are simply no "firewalls", no separation of concerns. Everything is liked to everything else and every system configuration is unique.

That's their way of selling stuff but it hurts my productivity. My change to Java raised my productivity considerably because I only need to support my own software and not the whole system configuration. I will never ever again get trapped in this bundling horror.

Yes they do slick user interfaces and yes their development tools are nice. But at the end of the day Microsoft is a drag on my productivity. And that's what counts for me.

Some people say, you don't need cross platform when 90 % of clients are windows. Apart from the fact that the picture is very different on the server side, it's just not true that windows is one platform. You have to take into account all the different combinations of windows operating systems, internet explorer versions, service packs and other MS software that comes with system updates (like office)

The beauty of Java is that I don't have to care about all that. I put all my stuff including the Java runtime in one directory and it will work no matter what.


Scott 09/28/02 10:21:00 PM EDT

I have done both Microsoft based development and Java, among other things and I have to say, .Net is a direct ripoff of Java. I'm not mad or anything about that. I think Microsoft is pretty open about ripping off Java(if you doubt that, take a look at their .Net research website....interesting whitepapers). Anyhoo, Microsoft's goal is to do Java better than Sun....a more flexible Java if you will. Its funny that Sun doesn't recognize this. But someone else does, and that someone is IBM. It's very interesting the things that IBM is doing with its eclipse initiative. If you know anything about java, you're probably aware that its two biggest problems are performance on the desktop(GUI apps) and a fragmented vendor community. Where Microsoft will win is in the quality of its tools. Their IDE is, and always has been, very good. Developers love it, especially entry level developers. The Java community has always suffered from a lack of these sort of higher level tools, and even when they have been available, there is poor integration with other best of breed tools, or the tools combined just cost too damn much. If IBM can rectify this problem, and improve desktop app performance with its SWT, I may just become an IBM fan. I have too much of an investment in Java not to.


PeaceMaker 09/28/02 01:37:00 PM EDT

Is there a peaceful solution?

It can be J2EE App Server or IIS.

Then, on the other end of line, it would be "the" browser (to be honest),interoperating with any AppServer via WebServices...

Syam S. Pillai 09/28/02 01:00:00 PM EDT

Forget about everything and all competition. Just use Java, XML and Linux. No cost involved and just see what you can't do with it..

Dave 09/28/02 12:00:00 PM EDT

Microsoft is spending money because they're scared to death of Java. They have been scared from day one. Java is not going to die. All Java programmers should not give up the fight. Don't feel threatened by the bully. In the end, you'll win. Just see how fast Java is growing in wireless phones / PDAs as well. .NET may be a huge loss to Microsoft which will deplete their cash Remember if you support .NET, you're supporting the bully who will most likely take advantage of you. After all, why should we trust Microsoft? They tried to modify the language from day one. In Java 1.0 and probably 1.1, Microsoft's API had some methods missing and when you executed the code, you would get unexpected results. Your boss probably yelled at you for not getting a program working under MS's VM and Sun's VM. That's exactly what happened to me.

Jeff Lawson 09/28/02 11:53:00 AM EDT

Microsoft are marketing experts not software experts. EVERYONE KNOWS that Word and I.E. crash. In fact Word crashes so badly at times that it locks up Windows Explorer (the GUI) on NT-class systems (the only remedy is to reboot).

There no longer any excuse for this. Period.

Only idiots authorize the installation of software that is known to crash regularly. Unfortunately, users DO have to put up with lost productivity due to Microsoft crashes. Those responsible are the software purchasers NOT Microsoft. Microsoft sell crap because idiots buy it.

It's the year 2002 and the most popular wordprocessor crashes! This cannot be over-stated: idiots in purchasing are compromising productivity.

Wayne 09/28/02 11:37:00 AM EDT

I've been happy with Microsoft's customer applications. However, as a long-time PC developer (and many years before the PC), Micosoft's language tools and libraries are a real hodgepodge mess compared with other languages and tools that are available elsewhere.

Their dominance (monopoly) in the operating system and many app's forces most developers to use their tools -- often exclusively, and the sheer number of developers in the Microsoft stable is a force to be reckoned with. However, that widespread usage doesn't automatically make Microsoft's tools good and easy to use -- they're not. There are a few exceptions, but VB, MSC, and C# are not among them. Don't brag about Microsoft's development tools unless you've worked both sides of the fence.

Marc Schipperheyn 09/28/02 11:20:00 AM EDT

The 10:1 spending ratio may well be, but the one thing Sun/Java has going for itself and Microsoft does not is open source commitment. If you look at the number and quality of software that is around for Java offered for free, not to mention the choice of non open-source products, it makes a very compelling case for the platform. Having said that, Microsoft is going to do what they do best: offer a well featured, user friendly product-line with a decent price. I would expect Java to take the high end (IBM, Sun, Oracle) and low end (open source, Tomcat, Struts) and Microsoft take everything in between.

Ulf Johansson 09/28/02 05:37:00 AM EDT

Imagine if Sun and Microsoft could have agreed on Java. Instead they put their mutual animosity before the good of the programming community. For this deceit they are equally to blame - fuck both! Sorry, but it summarizis my feelings right now. I took the Java road and now I'm left standing with an inferior user interface. Write Once, Run Anywhere, Sell Nowhere! Had I gone for C#, I would've been locked into Windows only. Just as bad.

Rob 09/28/02 02:33:00 AM EDT

I agree with 'Real World', I have worked with all the above mentioned platforms elements and feel the same; They have stengths and weaknesses and unfortunately two uncorperative and somewhat arrogant companies promoting them (Microsoft and Sun). As 'Real World' states its the efficient of the written software, both platforms can do the job, although I have my own perferences, I have architected projects in both - both platforms are a work in progress, one that I hope evolves well into the future making our lives as developers easier, fun, fluid and productive.

Deepak Kenchamba 09/28/02 02:23:00 AM EDT

All you sun freaks out there!! I'm one of you too. Looking at the prospects of .NET as a competition to SunONE, sure we need to be concerned. Believe me, all of us on this side of the platform are irrelevant, while the customer is king. If one potential client decides on .NET instead of J2EE, its one more blow to us.
Instead of mud slinging Microsoft, lets try to take the best parts from Microsoft (learn from the enemy) and beat him with pace and quality. What say ?

Deepak Kenchamba

Real World 09/27/02 11:43:00 PM EDT

I have worked with both sets of technologies (JAVA, J2EE, JSP, Websphere and C#, ASP.NET, CLR) and the bottom line is that both technologies have their strengths and their weaknesses. The bottom line is that they both will scale for almost any application imaginable as long as the designers/coders know what they are doing. In fact, I can write a JAVA/J2EE application that will bring a mainframe to its knees just like I can bring a .NET server to a screeching halt if I design or write an application inefficiently.

The bottom line is that both technologies will exist for a long time and there will be religious arguments made everyday. I am just tired of hearing the SUN certified expert say how sorry .NET is, or listening to the Microsoft certified expert tell me how bad JAVA is when neither person has done a "real" project in the other technology.

The bottom line is that you have to evaluate the requirements of the project at hand and pick the technology that is the best fit. Sometimes it will be JAVA and sometimes it will be Microsoft.

Terry Traub 09/27/02 11:07:00 PM EDT

.Net? Let's see. It's about $1000 to get started with .NET. Oh, yes, you have to have a Windows NT/2000 system, too. There's a framework thingy you can download for free, but essentially MS is aiming for corporate IT departments and big consulting firms. Java is a free download, runs on many platforms, and it's great technology that continues to grow and improve. I can't wait to see what 1.5 has in store for us.

Declaring Java dead is premature at best. Besides, Java is now the language of choice at top university computer science departments. Lots of pretty good programmers coming out of these places. Maybe C# is better in certain ways, the way Objective C was "better" than C++ in certain ways. If C# wins it's probably a combination of the 80-20 rule--it's 80% good enough, and also the moneybags rule--you can't go wrong for buying Microsoft's solution. However Java has some mighty big allies now, including IBM, Oracle, Sun, etc. etc. Together, these companies are a formidable block. Plus there's the counter-argument: if C# is that similar to Java, a C# programmer should be able to switch easily to Java!!!

M. Whitener 09/27/02 10:33:00 PM EDT

Gosling says: "People have been building Web services under different names for 20 or 30 years," he explains. "We've been building distributed systems for years out using CORBA and RMI and all of that."
This is an amazing quote. TCP has not been "done" for even 20 years. CORBA has not been real for even 10 years. And RMI dates back all of six or so years. What gross exaggeration. Why? Because MS got out in front with XMLHTTP web services (what in fact everybody knows "web services" means)?

Fallon Massey 09/27/02 09:56:00 PM EDT

I speak as a person that has a big investment in J2EE, and I think Java is toast in a few years.
We have been working with Microsoft's .Net platform, and C# is basically Java fixed to be a better language. It is very clean, and the Assembly concept(DLL) just feels better than jar's. The language has all the features of Java, and Java programmers will feel right at home. However the additional features make it a joy to work with. A little slow on startup, but so is Java, but very fast around the corners.

Nigel Heywood 09/27/02 09:50:00 PM EDT

To the guy who has 10 years consulting experience ... I really think it is petty to mention your years experience because it does not make you like you have a vast about of knowledge.

The fact is you have yet to use Java so how can you have an opinion. Stick to what you know and I'm hoping that you have used Microsoft at least or is it OS2 and Notes!

PS Microsoft has the money but NOT the brains otherwise it would not copy the Java API!

Prabhu Sankaran 09/27/02 09:24:00 PM EDT

I believe so.. I have been a consultant, IT programmer/developer for the past 10 years.. never had an intense need to use Sun's products like Java or Solaris or even Sun SPARC based hardware..

I have heard a few people say that OS2 was a true 32-bit OS.. and also NOTES as the true groupware product.. and also Informix as a true RDBMS..

Honestly, if it is 80% right, it would work in most situations unless you're a NASA or engaged in defense research..

Microsoft rocks.. its products deliver..that's the simple truth..

Robin 09/27/02 08:32:00 PM EDT

Well, yes, I've really used the IBM stuff -- extensively.

Frankly it's not bad most of the time, and occasionally

It's also missing a low end component (the
appserver starts at 7K and the IDE at 2) which
is a real problem, but doesn't undercut the
fact that they're good at what they do.

When I began in the industry (1980 or so) I worked
in the DEC arena, and we used to joke with some
justice that you could tell an IBM rep because he
pulled his jacket on over his dorsal fin each day.
None of that seems true today -- expensive, yes;
predatory no.

Microsoft, on the other hand ...

Jonathan 09/27/02 08:22:00 PM EDT

Have you actually used IBM products like DB2 and WebSphere to build applications?

World leading it is not. Self serving and driving customers to retain only their platform it is.

Stuart 09/27/02 07:47:00 PM EDT

C'mon IBM are the biggest IT co and do hardware and software.

Infact you could argue they make the worlds best servers (Z series), the worlds best database (db2), the worlds best J2EE platform (WebSphere) ......infact if Sun's not careful there going to be totally marginalised as IBM (with Linux) take on MS for supremecy.

Off topic but isn't Sun's Linux policy so way off??

Zaphod Beeblebrox 09/27/02 07:13:00 PM EDT

Gates Morality? - Oh please ...

Patrick Logan 09/27/02 07:11:00 PM EDT

Gates may be a very moral man, but this is not the issue.

The issue is should legal corporations be forced to compete with an *illegal* monopoly that has a 10:1 spending capability?

Remember: MSFT *has* been found to be guilty. The settlement is under negotiation, but the sentence is not.

Meanwhile the economy is stagnant, computer innovation is stagnant, computer jobs are decreasing in the US.

A settlement in the interest of the US economy is one that would promote competition. That's why monopolies are required to conform to more strict anti-competitive regulations.

Michael Smith 09/27/02 06:45:00 PM EDT

Gates and morality form somewhat an oxymoron. I can still remember the lawsuit by Apple against Microsoft where they found Apple source code right in Microsoft's video software product...hmmm... bad morals, I guess. And the wake of bad behavior still continues.

Roger Bly 09/27/02 06:14:00 PM EDT

.NET has alot of work to do. We rarely see Global 2000 that committed to .NET. Most of them are still hard-core J2EE for server-side apps and enterprise integration.

Bob White 09/27/02 06:06:00 PM EDT

IBM proves that one company can do many things, do them well, and make a profit. That's not to say they are #1 in everything, just that they are in to just about everything and do an okay job. So Sun need not worry about diversifying.

In fact, I'm glad they have done such a good job building & promoting Java and related technologies. I just don't see where they make a profit from it. I've never understood how they could make money, except by selling servers and the long-term prospects in that field are being eaten up as the Intel/AMD CPUs improve.

Even at their current low stock price, I'm not sure Sun is a good investment. But then I picked AMD way back in 1996 and have yet to see profit on that poor investment.

Eric Richardson 09/27/02 04:54:00 PM EDT

Sun needs to do its own thing as fighting Microsoft head to head is a losing battle.

Java could be a grass roots programming language and platform if Sun would make it Free Software and just guide the language in a non Microsoft dominated standardization forum as they just tried to kill it anyway. Holding Java tight is killing the company.

McNealy himself in a JavaOne keynote said that companies that try to "run the gambit" and do hardware, software, and services usually fail. Sun needs to focus.

Someone smarter than you 09/27/02 04:50:00 PM EDT

The one job the US govt needs to do with respect to businesses is enforce fair competition. They've failed miserably in the software industry. Microsoft is writes fanciful UIs on top of unsecure, unreliable garbage that people buy up, because they are too dumb to use anything else. Why not split up Microsoft and instill some fair competition. A user community we need to demand the use of standards, and demand selection. Say no to propietary solutions, select standards.

George Giles 09/27/02 04:22:00 PM EDT

Bill Gates is a very moral man, all he wants is for the public not to steal his product.

Sun is nearly a corpse, they have made the classic mistake of thinking they are both a software and a hardware company. The shareholders take the beating for this hubris.

Look at their company: Data General, DEC, Prime, Silicon Graphics, Apollo, Integraph, not exactly stellar company.

Microsoft has successfully stayed clear of that trap, and the stockholders, the real owners of the precious capital, are grateful.

old programmer 09/27/02 04:16:00 PM EDT

a) make sucky software that we (programmers) all have to deal with

b) engage in anti-competitive practices to the extent that they are the only company who can write any software at all

Jason 09/27/02 04:09:00 PM EDT

Sun should stick to what they do best, and leave software development to experts.