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How soon will SUN Microsystems drown?

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/Business/SiliconInsider/SiliconInsider_040429-3.html

Almost certainly Gosling and Papadopoulos are upto something. And something as big as Java.  Even with the recent cash infusion from Microsoft and massive layoffs/outsourcing, SUN can only last for 1.5-2 years. Al its cash reserves will run out. Their current cash reserves is around 3 billion dollars. With nearly a 500-700 million loses every quarter, they will have to close shop or do something dramatic.

Its difficult to see LINUX desktops taking off as SUN hopes. It will- like most technology grow popular in increments. And in developing countries, not many people are willing to pay when a pirated Windows will do just as well.

I think we can expect something dramatic from SUN in terms of technology in the next one year.

Karthik
Saturday, May 22, 2004

Actual link is this. Sorry

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/Business/SiliconInsider/SiliconInsider_040429-1.html

Karthik
Saturday, May 22, 2004

YAWN. The demise of Sun, as well as the demise of Apple, has been predicted ad nauseum. Neither company will "drown", simply because Micro$soft won't allow it. And Micro$oft won't allow it because it isn't in its best interest for any of its pseudo-competitors to disappear.

This space for rent
Sunday, May 23, 2004

>something as big as Java<

Something as big an irrelevance as Java, maybe. I have had the misfortune to do some JDBC programming (on Sun) in recent months (since Oracle sort of requires/supports it), and it's a pig. All kinds of aggravation with JDK and JRE and J** this and J** that bullshit. Just getting all the right combinations of libraries and environment variables is a royal pain in the a**. And its not as though the language itself is so great. It's C++ with better table manners, and that's not saying much.

I actually learned OOP with a "real" OOP language (Smalltalk), and I used to be a C programmer, so I know what I am talking about. Java totally sucks, because Sun should have made it public domain years ago and didn't.

Microsoft keeps playing games with JVM just to keep up the appearance of having credible competition. Just like the WWF, the appearance of competition between MS and Sun is phony - just for the dumb-ass audience (DoJ and Sun). Maybe the idiots at Sun still believe that they are actually competing with Microsoft. In their dreams...

Even though I despise Microsoft and all its evil works, I have to admit that C# is what C++ and Java should have been. Of course, Objective-C is better still, but irrelevant, rather like Betamax. C# is VHS.

Add to the mix the fact that IBM and even the emasculated (Fiorina'd) HP build better UNIX boxes at better prices than Sun, I don't see much sunshine in Sun's future. Solaris is so inferior to AIX, it's a joke. Even HP/UX is better. Did you know that the standard installation of Solaris 9 (the current one) still installs the 1988 version of Korn Shell?

Move over Solaris, Linux is here.

AS/400 anyone?

Data Miner
Sunday, May 23, 2004

My understanding is that Windows will soon run on Sparc.

As400
Sunday, May 23, 2004

<<YAWN. The demise of Sun, as well as the demise of Apple, has been predicted ad nauseum>>

You forget one thing. Apple is profitable. SUN is bleeding to death. And the CEO is saying that Linux on the server is not a good idea while Linux on the desktop is. They have it mixed up.

Apple is not losing 2 billion every year.

And i agree that Java sucks. I once had the misfortune of writing some JSP pages and some Java classes with JDBC and its a royal  nightmare. But the crowd love it. They believe that unless you are masochistic, you are not a programmer.

VB too sucks. But thats a different story.

Karthik
Sunday, May 23, 2004

"My understanding is that Windows will soon run on Sparc."

What for?

Leauki (Andrew J. Brehm)
Sunday, May 23, 2004

> it isn't in its best interest
Look, Microsoft doesn't have to worry if these guys go away, new competition will always replace those going away. Perhaps we can argue that the space Sun fills today is now being eroded by Microsoft, and we are looking at the final and complete eclipse in the next two years, but new software solution domains will always rise and Microsoft may not always be the first one to fill it, hence there will always be new Real Networks, new Adobes, new Apples, and new IBMs right over the horizon. Microsoft will always have competitions.

Li-fan Chen
Sunday, May 23, 2004

so I'm the only person in the world that's noticed that microsoft is losing deals to linux? (munich anyone?) that, according to a lot of linux types, linux is as good as windows, and free.

sounds to me like microsoft has plenty of competition. that means it's not a monopoly any more.

does that make everyone happy?

Hm.
Sunday, May 23, 2004

I think from our side the biggest problem is that computer science is a booming industry but we are too pig headed to make it grow well in a way that makes us all rich. It isn't whether Microsoft is a monopoly or not, so let's keep our eyes on the ball and complete some billable hours instead of chatting here all the time!! *finger pointing at me*

Li-fan Chen
Sunday, May 23, 2004

<quote>so I'm the only person in the world that's noticed that microsoft is losing deals to linux? (munich anyone?) that, according to a lot of linux types, linux is as good as windows, and free. </quote>

You win some you loose some. What matters is how much you win and how much you loose. As long as you win more then you loose everything ok.

And Munich Linux was not free at all. At the end Balmer offered Windows + Support for less then Suse did. The desicsion was more based on politics. I think it had to do with that Suse is german and MS is foreign. A government agency would (or should want to) like to keep tax money in the country.

In corporations desktop OS licenses are not that of a big deal what costs more are support (from seller and sysadmin) and support from third party applications that can run on them. Thats why everyone is talking about TCO (total cost of ownership) else yes just download a linux distro and burn it x times.

blaZiT
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Why do so many people have such difficulty spelling a simple word like "lose"?

Data Miner
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Since we're bagging on Java, I think I'll play devil's advocate :)

I actually thought JSP was a godsend when I first started using it.  Keep in mind, this was pre-ASP.NET, so I was comparing it to classic ASP.  The whole experience was much more OOP friendly.

Switching back to today, I can't really talk much about Java, cause I work in a Microsoft shop now.  But I know there are new technologies like Java Faces that are supposed to make the GUI end of things more pallatable, and they have the Struts framework now too for MVC structure.

Personally, I've always thought JDBC was pretty usable.  And of course it was nice that the DB libraries were written in Java themselves, so you didn't have to care about whether DB xxx's lib would work on whichever variant of *nix you happened to be running.

I always thought the biggest pain in the arse were the monstrous app servers (ie, Websphere and the like)...

Joe
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Why do so many people have such difficulty spelling a simple word like "lose"?

I guess it's because of the way you say it (long o). I will try not to make the mistake again. But I can't guarantee other spelling mistekes ;)

blaZiT
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Sun stats from Yahoo finance, please tell me when a multi-billion dollar company with 30k employees will die in 2 years.

Employees (last reported count):
36,100

Market Cap (intraday):
12.84B


Enterprise Value (23-May-04)³:
11.93B


Trailing P/E (ttm, intraday):
N/A


Forward P/E (fye 30-Jun-05)¹:
193.00


PEG Ratio (5 yr expected)¹:
N/A


Price/Sales (ttm):
1.16


Price/Book (mrq):
2.30


Enterprise Value/Revenue (ttm)³:
1.08


Enterprise Value/EBITDA (ttm)³:
170.4

Berlin Brown
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Um, with all due respect, you should learn a bit about what those numbers mean. There are some other numbers you need to look at too that tell more of the story.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, May 23, 2004

I love Java and Swing.  Even JDBC.  When I program for fun (which is lot), I use Java.

Just sharing...

5v3n
Monday, May 24, 2004

"Trailing P/E (ttm, intraday):
N/A


Forward P/E (fye 30-Jun-05)¹:
193.00"

Hmmm, why would Trailing Price/Earnings Ratio" be N/A?

Answer, because Sun is losing money. 

Projected P/E for next 12 months is relatively meaningless, with a P/E that high it's not projecting much earnings at all (though it is projecting some).  But very easy for it to continue being negative and and for Sun to hemorrhage more money, which I think is what many are predicting.

Basically, Sun doesn't have huge cash reserves in comparison to the losses they've been sustaining over the last couple years.  If things continue as they have been, the longer they continue to operate the more money they'll lose.  Unless they can turn things around in a major way(which original poster's article thinks unlikely), they're going to run the business into the ground over the next few years.

Herbert Sitz
Monday, May 24, 2004

Take any trend, assume that it will continue indefinately, conclude that something bizarre is about to happen.

For example, the tide has been going up a foot an hour.  Clearly in only 634 hours, most of Seattle is going to be under water!  Head for the hills!

Is Sun doomed?  Maybe.  I sure don't know.  But I do know that taking their yearly losses and dividing that into the amount of cash they have to determine how many years they have left is making some pretty big unstated assumptions.

Eric Lippert
Monday, May 24, 2004

"Take any trend, assume that it will continue indefinately, conclude that something bizarre is about to happen."

That goes without saying, I assume.  We're not idiots. 

Have you read the article that the OP linked?  Seems pretty well-thought out to me.  Here's what you get in first few paragraphs:

" . . . [W]ith great fanfare, McNealy has been announcing new initiatives to take the company off in exciting new directions."

"But that is the stuff for start-ups. It almost never works for giant, established firms because: 1) the initiatives are never big enough, nor arrive fast enough to stop the bleeding, and 2) there is too much corporate inertia and not enough remaining top talent to make it work. "

"The truth is that, like other pioneering giants before it, Sun is now largely reduced to using patent litigation as its primary profit center.  . . .  It can truly be said that the last refuge of a doomed corporation is its patent office. "

So, no, I think some smart people are predicting the death of Sun, and they're not just taking the "current trend" and making some stupid assumptions.

Herbert Sitz
Monday, May 24, 2004

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