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Java Runtime Environment Running With Google Toolbar

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In the hours leading up to the press conference, speculation permeated the tech world over the news Sun Microsystems and Google collaborating on something miraculous.

Editor’s Note: The buildup to this event was certainly big and the event shouldn’t be discounted. However, did the hype equal the event? Tell us your thoughts on the new development at the at WebProWorld.


At 10:30 a.m. PDT at the Computer History Museum, the two companies announced the Google Toolbar would be a packaged option for the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

The aim of the collaboration is to pool resources and leverage them together in order to strengthen JRE, the Google Toolbar and OpenOffice.org. Both Scott McNealy, CEO for Sun and Eric Schmidt, CEO for Google, preached the wonders of open source technology and how it was the wave of the future.

“As a leader in free and open source software, Sun has long recognized that network innovation is vital to the evolution of the global economy,” said Scott McNealy, chief executive officer, Sun Microsystems. “Working with Google will make our technologies available more broadly, increase options for users, lower barriers and expand participation worldwide. Free and open source technologies, such as OpenOffice.org, OpenSolaris and Java, have never been safer or offered more choices.”

In a question and answer session following their announcement, both conveniently dodged the Microsoft bullet, (perhap due to Sun currently doing business with Microsoft). Many were anticipating something to directly challenge Microsoft, perhaps a new browser or operating system. Nothing so grandiose. They did mention the Massachusetts initiative to get the OpenOffice suite on all state owned computers.

While several had questions about Microsoft, neither had much to say. McNealy admitted Windows is everywhere so Microsoft is certainly a consideration. He also said they were there to provide choice for the consumers. This was perhaps the most direct statement regarding Microsoft. Microsoft has maintained a strong hold on office suite software over the years. The conference pushed the OpenOffice suite as the free alternative choice without mentioning Microsoft Office directly.

“Google and Java are two of the most widely recognized technology brands because they provide users with online tools that enhance their lives on a day to day basis. The Google Toolbar offers useful Internet search services while Java enables richer interactive content. We look forward to exploring other related areas of collaboration,” said Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google.

Sun said in their accompanying press release that JRE has over 700 million desktop users. Google, in addition to so many other tools, offers the Google Toolbar for ease in search as well as a variety of other activities. OpenOffice is an open source office software suite. OpenOffice.org was put together by Sun back in 2000.

While all eyes in the tech industry were focused squarely on McNealy and Schmidt today, the only thing the press conference really did was raise more questions. They did say this relationship would bloom into other things but they didn’t and wouldn’t elaborate. One thing’s for sure, speculation will continue.

One final note: President of Sun Microsystems, Jonathan Schwartz, had spent a great deal of time in the last few days hyping the wonders open source technology and the social and economic implications of that technology. His blog had a moving entry, alluding to the first shots of a great revolution. The tech media seized on this and ran with it. He even joined McNealy and Schmidt on stage. Unfortunately, the hype didn’t quite match the event and many were left feeling less than full.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Java Runtime Environment Running With Google Toolbar
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