Gartner Slams Sun/Google Non-announcement

    October 10, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Based on expectations driven by posts in Sun president/COO Jonathan Schwartz’s blog online, analysis firm Gartner was not impressed by what was disclosed.

On October 4, Sun and Google held their eagerly awaited press conference. Google CEO Eric Schmidt took the stage with Sun CEO Scott McNealy to reiterate what had been previously announced – the two companies would collaborate on technology like StarOffice; further, the Google Toolbar would be available as an option to downloaders of the Java Runtime Environment.

At the time, the reporters in the room fell into stunned silence as the air was seemingly sucked from the room. A few attempts to gain some deeper meaning to the press conference, besides seeing Messrs. McNealy and Schmidt trade a Sun server and software for a Google-branded lava lamp, were brushed aside by the duo.

Now, Gartner analysts have attempted to make sense of what came across as, at best, an awkward event. They have speculated on the potential issue of StarOffice being central to the proceedings:

But the announcement fails to deliver significant customer benefits, which we had expected based on intimations in Sun President and COO Jonathan Schwartz’s blog ( The announcement did not include any form of a “Google Office” service or any commitment by Google to distribute and exploit StarOffice (OpenOffice).

Google may have been driving to obtain more support from Sun for a set of AJAX-based, lighter-weight “Office”-like tools, rather than the much heavier-weight StarOffice technologies. We believe that Sun and Google weren’t able to get what they really wanted; hence, the “non-announcement.”

Gartner’s analysts think a product like online word processor Writely might be a good candidate for its clients to evaluate with regards to hosted lightweight applications.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.