by Carlo Longino

Sun Welcomes You To 1999 With Its Google Non-Announcement

from the i'm-forever-blowing-bubbles dept

The rumor mill's been working overtime the last few days as hype built up surrounding an announcement from Google and Sun. Much of the speculation was that they'd announce some type of collaboration on Sun's OpenOffice productivity suite -- speculation strong enough to be cited as causing Microsoft's share price to drop. The announcement came out this morning, and it conjures up memories of the dot-com days in its pointlessness: Sun will give users the opportunity to download the Google toolbar when they download the Sun Java virtual machine. That's it, apart from more bubble-days rhetoric saying "the companies have agreed to explore opportunities to promote and enhance Sun technologies" like OpenOffice. Some people are scrambling to find the meat of the deal, but there really isn't any there -- Google doesn't even think it's big enough to warrant putting out their own press release. This seems like a ploy by Sun to try and gain some attention and good press by latching on to Google, when there's not a lot of underlying substance -- much like the recent Apple/Motorola collaboration. Like Apple, Google seems content to let Sun make a little noise for the time being, until it unleashes its nano to steal all the thunder. Like Steve Jobs saying Apple worked with Motorola as a "learning experience", Google's got something up its sleeve. But when that announcement comes, don't expect Sun to get much mention.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 4 Oct 2005 @ 12:18pm

    It's still an interesting alliance

    Even if there wasn't a lot of meat to flesh out things today, you have to see the logic in the two cooperating.

    Sun has been talking about "the network is the computer" and "thin clients" for a very, very long time. Java is a decade-old established technology towards that goal, but still doesn't have the ubiquity of Macromedia Flash. A paternership with Google could change that.

    I have to think that Google is feeling a bit vulnerable at times being built on DHTML and AJAX, given that Microsoft always has the power to do what they've done time and time again with their APIs, and "break" things in IE once and awhile to disadvantage Google.

    Java, on the other hand, has cross-platform support second to none, runs in any browser, is fairly safe from Microsoft fiddling with IE (as it just sits in a chunk of screen real estate and draws itself, like Flash.)

    Similarly, Sun has an investment in its own Linux distribution and OpenOffice. Both of those stand to benefit Google, especially if they were to become Google branded and web delivered. Google Office? Google desktop? Disk storage and CPU delivered similar to Citrix or remote X sessions, running over the Internet... it's quite a powerful possibility, and an excellent source of ad revenue (for Google) and hardware sales (to Google) from Sun.

    I mean, look at Gmail's success and consider what a GDrive would mean?

    People just want their computer to work and work safely. Google and Sun can make that happen. And Microsoft has every right to be concerned, because they have an Office and OS release they are still trying to get out the door -- lots can be delivered for free by Sun and Google in the interim.

    Ballmer is surely bouncing around in an ape-rage, breaking furniture and such.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      NA, 4 Oct 2005 @ 2:19pm

      agree for the most part...

      I agree with of most of your post, but I don't think Google feels too vulnerable because it used DHTML and Ajax. Google has transcended the technology sphere and is entrenched in pop culture. If the characters on tv shows can talk about "googling," its doubtful that MS is going to mess with their API just to mess with Google.

      Ajax and DHTML have their limitations. To take more control of the desktop, Google needs something more powerful. Java might be the answer

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alex, 4 Oct 2005 @ 1:25pm


    Sun's StarOffice suite, OpenOffice doesn't really have anything to do with Sun at this point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob, 4 Oct 2005 @ 3:03pm


    Microsoft has a huge problem. If you talk to any Microsoft field sales representative they will tell you the following:
    1) They have a huge "number" to make
    2) The only way to make that number is to have the massive corporate install base of Office users move from 2000 to current (or similar upgrade scenario)
    3) None of their customers want to do this so MSFT is looking for applications that "force" an upgrade
    4) Corporate users don't see the value in upgrading as they use a fraction of the software in Office (think about it...you don't either)
    5) Corporations are SICK and TIRED of the maintenance burden of PCs and MSFT software
    5) Broadband is everywhere. As Dilbert says "You can't stop the Internet Idiot!"
    6) Hosted office is the only outcome that will materialize in the future (economic and ease of use view) and MSFT is not making any material contribution in this area (or any other unless the XBOX360 is the focus)
    7) The latest MSFT reorg did not help any of this
    It may be time for 1999! You can quote me on that.
    MSFT Realist

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Alex, 4 Oct 2005 @ 4:35pm

      Re: Not!

      Bob, it sounds like MSFT has got a bigger problem with older versions of Office than any Open/Star/Office alliances out there.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        James Brown, 4 Oct 2005 @ 5:21pm

        Re: Not!

        The problem MSFT has is companies who will jump ship once a viable low-cost alternate comes about.

        Open office is nice, but it needs a lot of work before it can touch MS Office. If google were to come along and provide such software via the net or whatever... well... that's the while point of this.

        The problem is -not- older versions of office (who knows if MSFT knows this). The problem -is- people coming along and breaking the monopoly. I think we are getting close.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dan, 4 Oct 2005 @ 3:34pm

    No Subject Given

    no openoffice collaboration announcement? google and sun, sittin' in a tree, c-o-l-l-a-b...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Baker, 4 Oct 2005 @ 8:23pm

    Google PR

    Actually, Google do now have a press release up; http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/sun_toolbar.html

    Interesting URL though. 8-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Neosin, 4 Oct 2005 @ 11:34pm


    Google is still the small fry, lets not forget that. Microsoft has a HUGE base. Google has some seach users. Do these users pay google anything. No. Microsoft has it`s own money printing press. If you think microsoft is worried, sure they are watching it but worried. By what? Google? The search engine whos out playing with wireless now sun?
    I say Google got some cash, now thinks its a jack of all trades and a master of none.
    Meanwhile MS has a client base that cant be touched. People like firefox just cant seem to get it right. I mean anyone played with beta 1? Hope they fix it. I personally like firefox. However if i had to pick one itd be IE. Not because its microsoft but because its funded. Meaning they have people working on it. How many problems has firefox had?
    I Havnt bought into the whole open source thing yet. Sure its so great and wonderful. People making software for free. Sounds a little socialist idea to me. Sorry bud but i'm not gonna work for free. I get paid for my services. Sure i'll donate some code here and there. As a hobby, don't come crying to me when something breaks... Pay me and i'll make a fix.
    Final point of /rant
    Funded vs Opensource (mainly freeware)
    I don't believe there will ever be a true "open source freeware" project that will "overtake" a funded project. IE Firefox will never overcome IE. Just can't happen. Sure us techno freaks will use it, but it's the mainstream that matters. People like my dad, mom grandma who paid for it. Yea try telling my mom about firefox. She don't care. Her IE works. It's been marketed and sold. Firefox depends on some kiddos "spreading the word".
    So to all of you who dream of open souce/freeware ruling the world "like" microsoft... Forget it. It's a daydream that will never come true.
    Google knows this. There actions speak loud. They worry about it's own over priced stock falling like a brick anytime now.
    Here's the thing, as soon as the mainstream investors in goog figure out that this whole thing is "a dot.com boom era leftover noise" that stock will be sitting at $5.00 bux. At which time i'll join in on the shorting fun.
    In the end, google will be back to making spyware for desktops. Can't wait for v3. But this time it'll be the "google" desktop. "How much stock did you buy today?" will be the slogan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John, 4 Oct 2005 @ 11:55pm

      Re: lol

      Have you looked at how much money Firefox is bringing in these days? Yeah, it's funded, and it's funded quite handsomely thanks to... oh, look at that... Google, who seems to have quite a printing press for money themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      James Brown, 6 Oct 2005 @ 12:33am

      Re: lol

      A _beta_ version of Firefox has bugs!
      OMG, I'll never use it again. I'm so glad you brought this to my attention. Firefox sucks! Microsoft rules! Go Microsoft!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim Manico, 6 Oct 2005 @ 1:24am

    Googles Press Release

    Google did indeed make a Press release about the Sun-Google colaboration pact.


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.