VARBusiness: Is Sun Software An Oxymoron?

“Sun is ‘going into services and selling components. That’s the
classic end-game chapter for traditional computer companies,’
opined Will Zachmann, of Canopus Research, Duxbury, Mass. … If
you’re over 30 you might recall these guys: Data General, Prime,
DEC, Wang. … Sun, said Zachmann, is playing the same old
proprietary games these guys played. “Sun said, ‘Java is a standard
but ha ha, we own it,’ ‘ Zachmann said. Sun, he maintains, is more,
not less, proprietary than its archnemesis Microsoft. Microsoft
itself makes the same point…”

“Sun… is a technology leader, and always will be. But who’s
following? Even Java allies IBM and Novell condemn what they
call Sun’s ‘heavy-handedness’ with Java. Sun, said one Novell exec,
has done more to damage Java than anything Microsoft has

Now Sun is reviving its thin-client tactic with Sun Ray, which
derives its smarts from a back-end Sun server. Sun said the new
device will run Windows applications, courtesy of Citrix as well as
its newly acquired StarOffice. You can almost hear Steve Ballmer’s
sarcastic response now: “Hooray, it’s a return to the dumb

“With Sun Ray, and the fact that Sun is taking on Microsoft in
applications and building its consulting services, Sun resellers
have become puzzled. ‘The consistent thread is that no one knows
what the heck is going on and we’re all trying to sort it out,’ one
VAR said of Sun’s software strategy.”