Dead Man Walking: Sun Microsystems?

Sun is in big trouble. They have their head in the sand, or possibly some where else, and unless they pull it out quickly they are nothing but a Dead Man Walking.

Sun is losing business to Linux Pixar switches from Sun to Linux, Dell switches from Sun to Linux, E-TRADE, Amazon.com and numerous others are moving to low-cost computing which is definitely not Sun.

The price is far better for Intel-Linux servers and it outperforms Solaris boxes handily. As this excerpt from this Sept 18, 2002 Fortune articlestates:

Take E-TRADE Financial. Three years ago it paid $12 million for 60 Sun machines to run its online trading website. CIO Josh Levine has just finished replacing those machines with 80 Intel-based servers running Linux for a mere $320,000. “It’s remarkable,” he says. “On top of all that, website response time has improved by 30%.”

Note: I was tech lead for the project converting E*TRADE systems to Linux

Sun’s responses:

Sun’s CEO Scott McNealy. “It’s conventional wisdom, which isn’t actual wisdom, that the high end gets clobbered and business is going to Intel, Microsoft and Linux. It’s just not the case” 1/25/2003

“If you’re suggesting that Linux will replace Solaris, well, I am totally dismissive of that,” says Jonathan Schwartz, head of Sun’s software business. [9/18/2002](http://www.fortune.com/fortune/techatwork/articles/0,15114,372217-4,00.html)

Sun’s Chief Competitive Officer Shahin Kahn “Dell is a grocery store masquerading as a computer company.” 2/7/2003

Technology Issues? The Java Problem, a supposed internal memo from Solaris engineers complaining about how crappy Java is on Solaris. Solaris is their premier OS they load on their big iron which they charge two arms and two legs for.

Why would they devote more time and energy on their JDK/JRE for the Windows platform? Some how I think it has to do with their lawsuit with MS. Developers don’t care, who writes stand-alone Java applications!? It’s primary a server-side language now. Why focus any energy on a client-side JDK?

So it’s now Sun’s turn, IBM was able to make their elephant dance. Can Sun do the same?

DISCLAIMER: I may work for a financial institution, I really know nothing about the stock market, evidence by my portfolio performance. Please do not base any financial decision on what I say. Do your research.