Since first posting – I’ve added Open Office and Java FX – just goes to show – Sun have a lot of stuff.
I promised myself I wouldn’t bite; yet here I am. I’m contributing to the “Here’s what Sun should do meme”. And why not - I’m as good a keyboard-CEO as the next person and I did work for Sun for almost 9 years.
But first I should note – I think Tim Bray was pretty bold starting this (as he’s still a Sun Employee); and Sun is a pretty unique company in that it’s OK to do what Tim did (assuming Tim didn’t get booted).
#1 Java. I’m part of the Java ecosystem so it’s important to me. Basically, do what James says:
…, at worst go back to SUNW as a stock ticker.”
then do what Tim says :
As for Sun’s role as Steward of Java, and in particular the Java Community Process, let it go already. Java has mostly won and is mostly the establishment, and the community is smart and conservative enough to keep anyone from doing what Microsoft tried last millennium, or in any other way to subvert Java’s interoperability. In 2008, the JCP is costing Sun opportunities and friends and gaining us very little that I can see.
So I’d like Sun to set the JCP free, turn it over to the community, and when we develop some cool Java-based technology in-house, take it to market, try to make some money with it, and after it’s caught on and the bugs are shaken out, consider whether or not it ought to be taken to the JCP.”
But the community is going to have to continue to be smart and I also think that a consortium of interested parties would have to step up and invest some resources in making it work really well. Getting the balance of commercial interest and community is the key – I think Eclipse has it about right. Money makes the world go round – sorry if that offends anyone. Oh and while we’re at it – OpenJDK should be treated like the Linux Kernel – we only need one code base (note IBM and Oracle).
I’ve used both Net Beans and Eclipse (not for a year or two mind) – Net Beans is better, more polished, etc. But it doesn’t matter – it’s not a sustainable product. When Sun stops it’s investment – it will fade away. Eclipse won in mind share years ago; Sun should have recognized this in 2005 – I did. Java needed something like NetBeans in 1999 to attract developers but not anymore.
See above. Linux has won. Whatever technical merit Solaris has today will be commoditized next year. The innovation around Linux is relentless.
Sun has some great products and technology; some that are popular and fit well with Sun’s demand driven model (eg. Glassfish) and some that make money (Identity Management). Figure out what you need to do #5 – choose the best available OSS solution and run with it.
Invest, Innovate. Hire sales people who can sell data-based solutions – steal $1bn from Oracle this year, $2bn next year, repeat.
Demand for storing, archiving, cleaning, replicating and accessing data is going to grow. Forever.
#6 Storage, SPARC, Volume Servers
Keep only what is required for #5.
#7 Open Office
I’m a beneficiary of Open Office – I use it exclusively but have never paid a penny. That’s the problem – I use it because it’s free and it’s the best Office Suite available for Linux. There is no business case here. Thanks for a great product though.
#8 Java FX
Drop it. Nobody will notice.
If this sounds depressing – I’m sorry but it should be clear that Sun isn’t going to be the company it was in 1999. It needs to adjust its cost-model inline with its Open Source strategy; it needs to be much smaller; and needs to do much, much less, much, much more sucessfuly. Even if Sun goes private.