Reporters Partly Cloudy About Sun Details

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At the Webcast from the Computer History Museum with Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy and Google CEO Eric Schmidt, reporters waited anxiously for the bang. Alas, it ends not with a bang, but a whimper, albeit a big whimper.

Admittedly, the scale of the announcement was impressive. Google is teaming up with Sun Microsystems to promote and distribute software technologies by making it easier to freely obtain Sun’s Java Runtime Enviroment (JRE), the late October released Google Toolbar, and the OpenOffice.org office productivity suite, taking the “network is the computer” philosophy to the next level.

The new partnership will affect millions of end-users, governments, and businesses, with open-source thin-application ease.

“Oh,” said the crowd as enthusiasm was siphoned from the room uber-geek CEO style. The thought bubble, thick in the air and almost visible, read, “I dropped everything and hoofed it down here for that?”

Where was the talk of Microsoft? The Google Browser? The Google OS? What about Sun president Jonathan Schwartz’ ode to open-source on Saturday, the “shot heard round the world?”

Nada. Nada but uncomfortable tight-lipped CEOs and disappointed reporters (yes, me too), who for 24 hours had hyped the potential of this partnership, the impending Microsoft killer that would change the world as we knew it.

USA Today’s Michelle Kessler inquired about the elephant (Microsoft) in the room.


After some more hounding (i.e., after no more questions about Java), McNealy finally responded about its OS rival, Microsoft.

“Is your opponent Microsoft?” dutifully asked a tenacious reporter.

“Everything’s not a hockey match,” said McNealy.

Crickets chirp in the background, slightly louder than the muffled laughter, but not nearly as loud as the hopes and imaginations falling in disillusioned droplets to the floor.

And there it ends, friends. If there ever was a Google OS or browser in the works, Schmidt and McNealy were decidedly silent about it. And the shot heard round the world? Well, let’s just say if you missed it, you can download it any time from Google Video.

Reporters Partly Cloudy About Sun Details
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