The Buzz: Google, Sun Deal Falls Flat

Industry watchers mostly agree that Tuesday's announcement of a multi-year partnership between Google and Sun was not what they thought it would be. Some even suggest Sun is fighting a battle to stay relevant as the tech world passes it by. Read on to see what people are saying about the deal.

"I've gotten comments ranging from "lame" to "underwhelmed," describing today's Sun-Google announcement. I wouldn't underestimate the significance here. I certainly never expected a Google/Sun deal on StarOffice. OK, so Google is going to ask people to download a huge chunk of Java software--well, huge compared to the toolbar. What's the big deal? Google just shot a huge canon across Microsoft's bow. A Google alliance with any competitor is probably going to cause ulcers over at Microsoft."
- Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Monitor

"Sad to say, Sun stopped being relevant to the future of computing even before the Internet bubble, probably when Bill Joy moved to Aspen. Jini was brilliant but way too far ahead of its time. Sun blew any chances for Java to really matter. Shoulda merged with Netscape, IBM, Oracle. So this Google-Sun thing is meaningless. Analysts posing as consumer experts who think otherwise are naively betraying their parent company's IT roots. Now, if Google bought Sun, and went whole hog with Jini and Java..."
- David Card, Jupiter Research


"The Google-Sun announcement in the end turned out to be nothing... or as someone just said on the IM. "Let's do something useless so we can say we did something so Sun can get some press because we’re dying slowly." Harsh but true, given all the speculation, which was nothing more than chatter of the worst kind. All of us are looking for shapes in shadows, including me... sigh!"
- Om Malik, Business 2.0

"I'll stay out of this one. I'll say this, Google continues to control the PR. It seems everyone is writing about this."
- Robert Scoble, Microsoft Blogger

"The announcement this afternoon of a Google/Sun agreement seems pretty small in some ways: distribution of Google Toolbar in Java downloads, agreement to "explore opportunities [together] to promote and enhance" Java and OpenOffice. And in and of itself it was small - in fact I couldn’t even find a press release about it on Google’s corporate site. But it reminds me of a conversation I had at the European IT Forum about Google and the future of SAP, Oracle, and other enterprise application vendors, that suggests today’s announcement might fit into a much more sweeping scenario for the future of enterprise software."
- Frank Gens, IDC

"This is a very smart move done by two very smart companies. Both Sun and more recently, Google, have become a thorn in Microsoft’s flesh and this will only add to Microsoft’s discomfort level. Look for this partnership between Sun and Google to really take Microsoft to task in this market and more importantly, it could allow Google to eventually become either an equal to Microsoft in this space or perhaps even allow them to surpass them in the future."
- Tim Bajarin, Creative Strategies

"First, JRT is used in many consumer applications, especially in music and entertainment. Second, is the "explore" option of attaching Toolbar to OpenOffice. Third, there’s an unspoken opportunity here for Sun’s core business – selling hardware. Google has built thousands of its own servers and is one of the biggest users of Linux. Lastly, you gotta wonder about the possibilities of the largest search engine teaming up with the largest proponent of open source. Google is eager to offer non-Windows non-Microsoft Office options that it can be a part of, while Sun needs that strong, consumer distribution to move the open source revolution out of the enterprise."
- Charlene Li, Forrester Research

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