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On RedMonk @ CommunityOne and Why Sun is OK

communityone

Monday we’re running an unconference at Sun’s CommunityOne show in SF. Its free and open to all. We promise some of the coolest t-shirts ever, with ones for women too (not just small size). Expect really good conversations about open source, open standards, community development, dynamic scripting languages, Twitter (of course), social media tools and mores. Our event is sponsored by our client Atlassian, but the major sponsor is Sun Microsystems itself, which provides the facilities.

On the subject of Sun its latest results are not certainly not anything to write home about. Revenue fell .5%. MySQL is a transformative acquisition that will take time to bed in, which weighed the numbers down a bit.

But consider that Windows revenues this quarter fell by more than 24%.

I am not a financial analyst but a 24% fall across a much higher base, in a companies core franchise, when it is considering spending a ton of money on a very uncertain acquisition (YHOO) would likely scare me more than a .5% shortfall across a far smaller one.

And the upside for Sun is next week. CommunityOne is going to be amazing. I predict an explosion of creativity and good times for the exact audience Jonathan has set his hearts and minds on – developers. Sun is in recapture mode. It needs to have the make-side in its pocket before the POs start rolling in. The make-side: makers and doers, hackers and players. The people that get things done long before a CIO asks them how they did it.

At RedMonk we pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse of developer trends and directions. Sharing a working environment with people is a great way to learn from them. Why is jQuery important, say, or Firebug? What is the advantage of a distributed source code management system? How difficult is the Rails deployment experience? Why are people looking at Erlang?

The RedMonk track is going to rock sure, but the whole schedule looks awesome. StartupCamp for the win! Oh yeah one thing I didn’t even realise til yesterday. There is an event on Sunday to bring together non-profits and developers. awesome.

I think Sun should market Java less aggressively, but I can understand why they do. But by creating forums both online and offline, and tools to support them, for all the other good stuff-notably dynamic scriping languages, Sun is creating an opportunity to prosper. And if we really hit recession my bet is MySQL adoption in the enterprise is going to accelerate nicely. Enterprises like to pay for software. We’ll see after next week, but if markets are conversations I suspect the market may be saying something fairly positive about Sun through next week.

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Comment Feed

4 Responses

  1. Well said, James! The Sun is rising. This is a buy opportunity :-)

  2. I think the challenge is that Sun is taking time to be relevant again with Enterprise Buyers who actually spend money.

    The getting volume’s approach at the cost of revenue takes time to realize and I think is best suited for low cost basis shops(like startups and frugal outfits like craigslist) OR exceptionally high margins/revenue shops(like Google).

    Sun is in the middle with no cash cow to invest in a different product line . My guess is that if it cannot perform in one more quarter IBM or HP or Oracle will buy sun.

    Nevertheless – I bought a couple of hundred of JAVA stock today. at 10billion in market cap with about 2 billion cash it is a steal.

  3. Correction :”at the cost of revenue takes time to realize”

    takes time to realize in terms of a viable economic mode



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