October 4, 2005 5:34 PM PDT

Google and Sun deal: That's it?

Related Stories

Sun and Google shake hands

October 4, 2005

Google, Sun plan partnership

October 3, 2005

Web mulls Google's threat to Microsoft

September 27, 2005

Google builds an empire to rival Microsoft

September 21, 2005
After much brouhaha leading up to Tuesday's announcement of a new Sun Microsystems and Google partnership, many bloggers were left scratching their heads at a press event they considered anticlimactic.

Sun President Jonathan Schwartz added fuel to the hype fire with a blog entry published Saturday, hinting that the world--and primarily the way we buy and use software--was about to change.

Speculation that Google plans to square off with Microsoft in the software sector has been bouncing around tech journals for weeks. When plans of a joint announcement from Sun and Google surfaced, those rumors began to focus on what the two companies had to offer each other, and what sort of unified product they might release.

But far from what many had hoped for--an online application meant to rival Microsoft Office--the two companies announced simply that they would collaborate on work on Sun's OpenOffice.org, Java and OpenSolaris, and Google's Toolbar. Details about what exactly that will entail were vague at best, with the only nugget offered being that Sun, in the immediate future, will make Google's toolbar a standard part of the package when users download Sun's Java Runtime Environment from the server seller's Web site.

The announcement left many bloggers less than thrilled, and blog entries with titles such as "Big whoop," "That's it?" and "Google and Sun announce yawn" abound on blog search site Technorati. It's clear that many in the blogosphere were looking for a more groundbreaking project to come from the companies. But several bloggers say that view is shortsighted, that the potential for major change coming from this partnership is still strong and that Tuesday's announcement is the first step on a long journey.

The word from the Web...
• I'm at this very moment looking at two headlines in an AP news feed and trying to figure out which one is more banal: "Sun, Google in Software Distribution Pact" or "Pamela Anderson Gets Restraining Order".
Nicholas Carr's Rough Type

• Some people are scrambling to find the meat of the deal, but there really isn't any there--Google doesn't even think it's big enough to warrant putting out their own press release. This seems like a ploy by Sun to try and gain some attention and good press by latching on to Google, when there's not a lot of underlying substance--much like the recent Apple-Motorola collaboration. Like Apple, Google seems content to let Sun make a little noise for the time being, until it unleashes its Nano to steal all the thunder. Like Steve Jobs saying Apple worked with Motorola as a "learning experience," Google's got something up its sleeve. But when that announcement comes, don't expect Sun to get much mention.
Techdirt

• I've gotten comments ranging from "lame" to "underwhelmed," describing today's Sun-Google announcement. I wouldn't underestimate the significance here. 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 cannon across Microsoft's bow. A Google alliance with any competitor is probably going to cause ulcers over at Microsoft. Google could distribute millions of copies of Java, and that's not .Net Framework. Google just breathed new life into Java, essentially endorsed it.
Microsoft Monitor Weblog

• In my view, this is where Google really has the opportunity to disrupt the market. If one of the hardest parts of software as a service...is the coherent management of organizations' information across these services, are there many--if any--companies that have a stronger platform and brand from which to build or support such a next-generation SaaS environment? The center of Google's competency is certainly in aggregating and indexing information from a wide variety of sources, and simplifying the act of accessing relevant information.
IDC eXchange

• So what do the vague announcements today about the Google-Sun deal-in-motion mean? Sun gets to showcase its present and future data center and services delivery platform grid efficiencies at the premier ISV: Google. Java Runtime Environment on the desktop gets a life-sustaining shot of vitamin B-12, while OpenOffice-StarOffice might well become the R&D replacement and speed-to-market turbocharge that Google needs to leap out front in the race to redefine the client computing-as-service experience. Make that mission-critical experience. Now, who needs to worry most about Sun and Google making happy-face? I say it's the voice and data network providers, the Verizons, Sprints, SBCs, BTs, MCIs, BellSouths, and France Telecoms. Because if Sun+Google=Voice and Data Efficiencies as a service stream, aka Webtone par excellence, on a global scale, then who are you gonna call when you need business services?
ZDNet's Between the Lines

• That's it?! You held a press conference and generated all that hype to announce that at some unnamed point in the future, the Google Toolbar (which is already on practically every computer out there) will be optionally available when people download the Java Runtime Environment?! What a letdown! To say nothing of the fact that bundling is bad. Can you think of an instance where products are bundled together like this that doesn't annoy the heck out of you?
TinyScreenfuls.com

24 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Here's my prediction
So google recently announced their plans to launch a nation wide free WiFi network, and they have already started it in San Francisco. Key word being free. How does this benefit them? The answer is this alliance with Sun Microsystems. I think their plan is to setup a free nation-wide network, then use Sun's universal computer language (Java) to have every digital device in the world have access to the net anywhere in the U.S. If this is true, then what search engine will each WiFi device in the future be setup with? You guessed it - Google.
Google sets up a free internet, but then makes it so that everyone using it will be encouraged to use their already famous search engine. Google doesn't need to dominate in China, even though they are trying to, because in a few years everyone will be popping onto the internet with anything from a laptop to a cell phone to a watch to a toothbrush, and they will all goto Google - easily increasing the traffic at Google's site tenfold, and therefore the size of their wallets as well.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Questionable Longterm Growth Potential
So, what you're saying is that Google is trying to grow their revenue by basically adding more eyeballs?! Tons of now defunct .com companies of the 90's had tried that business model.

Let me tell you one thing: Not Google, or ANY other company for that matter, can dominate the Net like Microsoft dominates the desktop. The Net is infinitely more democratic than the desktop for one single company to rule it all: people switches web pages more frequently and more easily than they can (are willing to) switch their desktop apps. No one company can exercise a stranglehold on Net users.
Posted by dysonlu (16 comments )
Link Flag
Questionable Longterm Growth Potential
So, what you're saying is that Google is trying to grow their revenue by basically adding more eyeballs?! Tons of now defunct .com companies of the 90's had tried that business model.

Let me tell you one thing: Not Google, or ANY other company for that matter, can dominate the Net like Microsoft dominates the desktop. The Net is infinitely more democratic than the desktop for one single company to rule it all: people switches web pages more frequently and more easily than they can (are willing to) switch their desktop apps. No one company can exercise a stranglehold on Net users.
Posted by dysonlu (16 comments )
Link Flag
Here's my prediction
So google recently announced their plans to launch a nation wide free WiFi network, and they have already started it in San Francisco. Key word being free. How does this benefit them? The answer is this alliance with Sun Microsystems. I think their plan is to setup a free nation-wide network, then use Sun's universal computer language (Java) to have every digital device in the world have access to the net anywhere in the U.S. If this is true, then what search engine will each WiFi device in the future be setup with? You guessed it - Google.
Google sets up a free internet, but then makes it so that everyone using it will be encouraged to use their already famous search engine. Google doesn't need to dominate in China, even though they are trying to, because in a few years everyone will be popping onto the internet with anything from a laptop to a cell phone to a watch to a toothbrush, and they will all goto Google - easily increasing the traffic at Google's site tenfold, and therefore the size of their wallets as well.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Questionable Longterm Growth Potential
So, what you're saying is that Google is trying to grow their revenue by basically adding more eyeballs?! Tons of now defunct .com companies of the 90's had tried that business model.

Let me tell you one thing: Not Google, or ANY other company for that matter, can dominate the Net like Microsoft dominates the desktop. The Net is infinitely more democratic than the desktop for one single company to rule it all: people switches web pages more frequently and more easily than they can (are willing to) switch their desktop apps. No one company can exercise a stranglehold on Net users.
Posted by dysonlu (16 comments )
Link Flag
Questionable Longterm Growth Potential
So, what you're saying is that Google is trying to grow their revenue by basically adding more eyeballs?! Tons of now defunct .com companies of the 90's had tried that business model.

Let me tell you one thing: Not Google, or ANY other company for that matter, can dominate the Net like Microsoft dominates the desktop. The Net is infinitely more democratic than the desktop for one single company to rule it all: people switches web pages more frequently and more easily than they can (are willing to) switch their desktop apps. No one company can exercise a stranglehold on Net users.
Posted by dysonlu (16 comments )
Link Flag
Bloggers are diluting c|net
I've been visiting the News.com site since the 90's and I have
become more disapointed of late that c|net is allowing bloggers
to dilute their award winning reporting. It seems that there is a
lack of due diligence in the bloggers that they use to actually
discuss something of merit or to lend thoughtful discussion to
current topics. I did a Google search and from the first page of
results I found the following comments about the Sun/Google
deal that are in stark contrast to the ones posted here. Could it
have been possible to include a different perspective on the
topic rather than combing through posts to find those that taint
the discussion toward the slant you meant? Is that too much to
ask of c|net?

"News.com speculates on what might be announced saying that
it, could shift personal computing out of Microsoft's domain and
into Google's." Wow, that's a lot of speculation. Much of the talk
about what's up focuses around Google and Sun doing
something together with Sun's free, open source, OpenOffice
software suite."
Gary Price, SearchEngineWatch

"Now if you are talking about these hints of some sort of a
Google-aided distribution of Sun's StarOffice software, now
that's big. That's a shot across the bow at Microsoft Office, and
their forthcoming Office 12 release."
Russell Shaw, ZDNet Blogs

"The possibilities are endless. The speculation is pretty wild even
so."
Dan Gillmor, BayOSphere

"The announcement is intriguing, particularly in light of recent
reports that Google is gunning to ultimately knock off Microsoft
as the leading computing platform. What better partner to have
in that effort than Sun, at one time Microsoft's arch enemy."
Jack McCarthy, InfoWorld

"Sun Microsystems and Google are expected to announce a deal
tomorrow according to eWeek. They join speculation that an
operating system is at the core of it. They assume it a desktop
OS.  I wonder of it might actually be a Web OS, which would be
one of those surprise checkmate moves."
ItSeemsToMe Blog
Posted by sunergeos (111 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Heh
"That's a shot across the bow at Microsoft Office, and
their forthcoming Office 12 release."

Heh, I think they'll be lucky if this shot, at its apex, got up above Office 12's waterline. Certainly anyone on the bow never saw it.

OO will do what it will, and slowly eat away at home use, tiny bits of business use, but it would have done that at exactly the same speed without this deal. Google's over-hyped mindshare doesn't really help here.

People like to talk about mindshare like it's a replacement for technology. It isn't, not in the end.
Posted by KTLA_knew (385 comments )
Link Flag
quite accurate
I am disappointed that Cnet seems to have missed the forest for the trees on this story. Over the past few weeks, Cnet has run a number of stories pointing towards Google using the web as an OS. What seems to be missing in the Google/Sun analysis, is that the partnership is further evidence of that move, and as such, is huge.

Sun has always been an extremely visionary company, but often way ahead of the market. Google though, has had spot on market timing, and if there is anyone who can deliver the Sun vision of network based computing, it's Google.

Bottom line is watch this partnership become more and more important as time passes.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Link Flag
Bloggers are diluting c|net
I've been visiting the News.com site since the 90's and I have
become more disapointed of late that c|net is allowing bloggers
to dilute their award winning reporting. It seems that there is a
lack of due diligence in the bloggers that they use to actually
discuss something of merit or to lend thoughtful discussion to
current topics. I did a Google search and from the first page of
results I found the following comments about the Sun/Google
deal that are in stark contrast to the ones posted here. Could it
have been possible to include a different perspective on the
topic rather than combing through posts to find those that taint
the discussion toward the slant you meant? Is that too much to
ask of c|net?

"News.com speculates on what might be announced saying that
it, could shift personal computing out of Microsoft's domain and
into Google's." Wow, that's a lot of speculation. Much of the talk
about what's up focuses around Google and Sun doing
something together with Sun's free, open source, OpenOffice
software suite."
Gary Price, SearchEngineWatch

"Now if you are talking about these hints of some sort of a
Google-aided distribution of Sun's StarOffice software, now
that's big. That's a shot across the bow at Microsoft Office, and
their forthcoming Office 12 release."
Russell Shaw, ZDNet Blogs

"The possibilities are endless. The speculation is pretty wild even
so."
Dan Gillmor, BayOSphere

"The announcement is intriguing, particularly in light of recent
reports that Google is gunning to ultimately knock off Microsoft
as the leading computing platform. What better partner to have
in that effort than Sun, at one time Microsoft's arch enemy."
Jack McCarthy, InfoWorld

"Sun Microsystems and Google are expected to announce a deal
tomorrow according to eWeek. They join speculation that an
operating system is at the core of it. They assume it a desktop
OS.  I wonder of it might actually be a Web OS, which would be
one of those surprise checkmate moves."
ItSeemsToMe Blog
Posted by sunergeos (111 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Heh
"That's a shot across the bow at Microsoft Office, and
their forthcoming Office 12 release."

Heh, I think they'll be lucky if this shot, at its apex, got up above Office 12's waterline. Certainly anyone on the bow never saw it.

OO will do what it will, and slowly eat away at home use, tiny bits of business use, but it would have done that at exactly the same speed without this deal. Google's over-hyped mindshare doesn't really help here.

People like to talk about mindshare like it's a replacement for technology. It isn't, not in the end.
Posted by KTLA_knew (385 comments )
Link Flag
quite accurate
I am disappointed that Cnet seems to have missed the forest for the trees on this story. Over the past few weeks, Cnet has run a number of stories pointing towards Google using the web as an OS. What seems to be missing in the Google/Sun analysis, is that the partnership is further evidence of that move, and as such, is huge.

Sun has always been an extremely visionary company, but often way ahead of the market. Google though, has had spot on market timing, and if there is anyone who can deliver the Sun vision of network based computing, it's Google.

Bottom line is watch this partnership become more and more important as time passes.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Link Flag
The first step
Anyone consider Google buying Sun?
Posted by (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh quite possibly.
I didn't realise quite how ambitious Google were, until I saw they were making a search engine - for mainframes !
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
The first step
Anyone consider Google buying Sun?
Posted by (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh quite possibly.
I didn't realise quite how ambitious Google were, until I saw they were making a search engine - for mainframes !
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
Office will go down !!! StarOffice and Projity win
The most useful outcome of this partnership will clearly be less directly financial gain and more on influence. Microsoft's strength due to the monopoly with Office is undeniable. I have been using two beta's recently (StarOffice 8 and Projity for project management) that offer cost effective alternatives that eliminate the need to use Office. If these are successful it will be an enormous blow to Microsoft's plans to leverage this strengh and extend into ERP, CRM and other areas. StarOffice has the word processing, spreadsheet and presentation equivalents. Projity has a project management solution that is a replacement for Project. These solutions open existing files so switching does not take time or effort. If these get out there then Microsoft will be in trouble !

The Google/Sun partnership will be most effective if they can bring Google's great consumer attentive audience to solutions like StarOffice (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.sun.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.sun.com</a> ) and Projity ( <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.projity.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.projity.com</a> ). StarOffice 8 is out of beta and the Projity solution I think is coming out of beta. If Microsoft gets knocked in these areas it will become much more difficult to extend into other areas. That my friends may ultimately be the outcome of yesterdays mumbled, opaque announcements......
Posted by linuxbeatsMS (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not even close...
Almost everyone has MS Office already, they don't even need to upgrade. There's no point in switching to Star or Open office as there is zero gain.

Corporations are not going to allow employees to use this Star/Open/Google Office for creating documents.

This is actually Google's first big mistake. Google is one big ad agency. Not sure how this will boost their profit. Are they going to show ads as you type in a word doc?
Posted by nazzdeq (74 comments )
Link Flag
Office will go down !!! StarOffice and Projity win
The most useful outcome of this partnership will clearly be less directly financial gain and more on influence. Microsoft's strength due to the monopoly with Office is undeniable. I have been using two beta's recently (StarOffice 8 and Projity for project management) that offer cost effective alternatives that eliminate the need to use Office. If these are successful it will be an enormous blow to Microsoft's plans to leverage this strengh and extend into ERP, CRM and other areas. StarOffice has the word processing, spreadsheet and presentation equivalents. Projity has a project management solution that is a replacement for Project. These solutions open existing files so switching does not take time or effort. If these get out there then Microsoft will be in trouble !

The Google/Sun partnership will be most effective if they can bring Google's great consumer attentive audience to solutions like StarOffice (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.sun.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.sun.com</a> ) and Projity ( <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.projity.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.projity.com</a> ). StarOffice 8 is out of beta and the Projity solution I think is coming out of beta. If Microsoft gets knocked in these areas it will become much more difficult to extend into other areas. That my friends may ultimately be the outcome of yesterdays mumbled, opaque announcements......
Posted by linuxbeatsMS (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not even close...
Almost everyone has MS Office already, they don't even need to upgrade. There's no point in switching to Star or Open office as there is zero gain.

Corporations are not going to allow employees to use this Star/Open/Google Office for creating documents.

This is actually Google's first big mistake. Google is one big ad agency. Not sure how this will boost their profit. Are they going to show ads as you type in a word doc?
Posted by nazzdeq (74 comments )
Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.