Chris Preimesberg has a report on an interview with Sun’s head software guy, Jon Schwartz. In it he describes plans to turn Java into money, basically with their Sun Enterprise System and Sun Desktop System programs that will offer comprehensive server and client packages to businesses at a subscription rate. I still don’t see this as exactly monetizing Java, but I guess it gets closer, and if Sun can sell bunches of seats of this, making a ton of money at it and pushing back against the ubiquity of Windows, I’m all for it.
It has been much on my mind lately that while Java has been one of the great, unqualified successes of the computing industry, it has been a mixed bag for Sun itself. Java doesn’t run any better on Solaris than it does on Windows or Linux (indeed, evidence seems to indicate that Solaris is a lesser platform for Java than some others), so Java isn’t a great sales tool for Sun servers. And Sun seems like the only company other than Microsoft that isn’t making money off of Java-based software. There’s an entire Java software industry that supports BEA, Oracle, IBM, Borland, and plenty of other companies, and Sun isn’t at that party. It’s really amazing when you think about it.