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Sun CTO Predicts Internet Consolidation Endgame 167

Posted by Zonk
from the is-it-bill-pullman-or-bill-paxton-i-always-forget dept.
Romerican writes "C|Net is running an interview with Greg Papadopoulos, CTO of Sun Microsystems, about the Very Near Future where he essential sees the Internet as no longer competitive. He has blogged his belief that the end game is here and nothing is likely to unseat the new world order." From the C|Net article: "It's called software as a service. It really is the running of what we think of as IT through the network. You don't buy software, you buy the consequence of the software. That starts with the small and medium enterprises. eBay, in my mind, is the leading example of small businesses being absorbed by services. Anybody who clicks their store on eBay is in fact consuming a service. They are contributing to a larger-scale eBay rather than them buying some server and sticking it on their desk."
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Sun CTO Predicts Internet Consolidation Endgame

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  • Erm ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B3ryllium (571199) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:12PM (#17163004) Homepage
    History shows that the majority of "consolidation" will eventually unwind, fragment, and finally return to something similar to the original way of doing things.

    And then it will happen again.

    Witness: Mainframe computing to Personal Computing to Thin Client Computing.
    • Re:Erm ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sugarman (33437) on Friday December 08, 2006 @01:42PM (#17164244)
      On a long enough timeline, we're all dead. But being able to recognize an emerging trend and capitalize on it in the near future of a 5-10 year plan can be critical to a business.

      Characterizing it as an "endgame" may be a extreme, but consolidation of the big players is continuing for the forseeable future.

      --sugarman--
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by inKubus (199753)
        Yeah, but you get the feeling consolidation is what he WANTS, not necessarily what's going to happen. I think a lot of small businesses don't like eBay, which has become a bastion of SE Asian importers and crooks for most commodity items. Sure, you can still find some decent categories that aren't flooded with .01 cent starting bids for trinkets but they are few and far between. The small businessperson innovator is going to go his own way and not follow the crowd any more than possible. There will alway
    • by Bozdune (68800)
      Exactly. "Thin client" apps are a pretty accurate analog to the ubiquitous CICS business apps of the 1970's that are still floating around today. Fill out a screen. Click a button. Wait for another screen. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      Some business apps do very well in such a framework. Others do not. Spreadsheets, for example, don't (there have been "networked" spreadsheet apps for years now, but what is their penetration? Zilch). Yes, sigh, we can code the entire app in Javascript and hide transfers in
    • by jafac (1449)
      History shows that the majority of "consolidation" will eventually. . . .

      Does it?

      Examples?
    • Usually it's traditional when making an argument to use an example of something that has actually happened. Thin client Computing has not displaced Personal Computing to any significant extent.
      • by B3ryllium (571199)
        ... and neither will the consolidation of greedy corporate service providers displace the stand-alone web service. They will compliment one another.
    • In other news:

      After 30 years of continuous development, Free Software still does not require the user to bend over and get reamed from behind by the throbbing memeber of corporate greed.

      This is just PR pitch, folks, pure make-belief. That's what they really really want, but even they (Sun) no longer have any real hope. I mean, they are GPL-ing Java. I didn't think I'd live to see that happen, but Moglen was right: the non-free software circus is in its last season.

  • by WeAreAllDoomed (943903) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:16PM (#17163044)
    i don't want my company data on someone else's servers.

    unless "services" address this, there will be resistance. maybe not if you're buying used stuff at estate sales and selling it on ebay, but...

    • by spun (1352)
      How about a software subscription service where you own the server and the data stays on your hard drive, but the software is on a network filesystem?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by penix1 (722987)
        "How about a software subscription service where you own the server and the data stays on your hard drive, but the software is on a network filesystem?"

        It still won't work for many reasons. First, it requires an "always on" broadband network connection that far too many people don't have and feel they don't need. Second, the security risk is too high. Too many of these companies will sell whatever isn't nailed down especially your data. Even though you may retain a copy of your data locally, nothing is stop
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by spun (1352)
          First: there is no reason that your servers could notn cache the software. Second, the security risk is no higher than with traditional software. Reputable companies will sign contracts stating they won't use your data. Nothing is stopping any software company from sending your personal data to their server, except they would have their asses handed to them in a court of law if anyone sued them. Third, what with support contracts and upgrades, people are in effect renting software now. Most people don't car
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      There will certainly be resistanc but I think you will change your mind when:

      (i) costs decline to make it attractive to you (if your $200,000 costs can be cut to $75,000, wouldn't you? (I'm just making up #s))
      , or (ii) it becomes so easy and ubiquitous that you would be worse off to do it the old way (an example would be webmail versus desktop client email from an ISP)

      How many people nowadays use Gmail, Hotmail, or what-have-you for their personal and confidential e-mail? At one time, many would have
      • Cost of good data (Score:5, Insightful)

        by plopez (54068) on Friday December 08, 2006 @01:37PM (#17164186) Journal

        (i) costs decline to make it attractive to you (if your $200,000 costs can be cut to $75,000, wouldn't you?

        NO. Here's why:

        I currently work for a SME of approx. 120 employees, sales in the 75-100 million dollar range.

        About 3 years ago I was told that we had 12-15 million dollars of data in our databases. Based on the cost of collecting and maintaing the data (lots of engineering field data). In the past few years we have doubled in size both in employees and in database size, so let's call it 30 million in data in our databases.

        This does not include data in documents on the file servers or in emails. SO let's say another 30 million there.

        Now, some of our clients compete against each other and we are *very* careful to firewall information so that the data from client A is not seen by client B. Not only could a breach like this resutl in losing client A and/or getting sued by client A, but would ruin our reputation and make it difficult to attract other clients.

        The problem is that people take data, good data, far too lightly. Good data is hard to obtain and expensive. Without you are SOL. And so we protect our data and try to insure it is of high quality. We trust no one with the data.

        The 'savings' of SaaS are miniscule compared to the risks to the company in this case.

        Also data lasts longer than programs or vendors. What happens if the software company goes under or if you need to port it to a new application?

        Except for a few cases I think SaaS is very inappropriate and will not be as wide spread as some hope.

        You are right though, many companies are already exposing themselves. However, we see it as a false economy. There is no replacement for just doing the work.
        • "However, we see it as a false economy. There is no replacement for just doing the work."

          I definitely don't think it's a false economy at all. In fact it's a growth industry that will end up becoming very large... I don't think this is necessarily avoiding work, but is instead something that improves efficiency... a disruptive technology if you will... someone still has to do the work...

          Just because someone else will store your data does not mean that it will be available to your competitors or you
        • Now, some of our clients compete against each other and we are *very* careful to firewall information so that the data from client A is not seen by client B. Not only could a breach like this resutl in losing client A and/or getting sued by client A, but would ruin our reputation and make it difficult to attract other clients.

          And I'm sure that Google / Microsoft / Amazon / IBM / SAP will be very careful to make sure that your data is firewalled and secured from your competitors. I think your paragraph her

      • it becomes so easy and ubiquitous that you would be worse off to do it the old way (an example would be webmail versus desktop client email from an ISP)

        Yeah, until the day a SOX auditor comes in and says, "show me all your email from 2003 to the present" - at the same time that the service provider's gateway decides to hickup. So sorry - please pay Uncle Sam $14,000,000 for not securing your email documentation. Or maybe your service provider makes a dumb mistake and allows their servers to be hacked -- g

        • That example sounds more to me like a reason why you should have off-site storage of all your email. By mandating that your employees use web services for their email and IM (which is also covered by SOX, IIRC) you can make sure that things aren't scattered all over mailservers in various locations, or on end-user machines where they're not subject to expiry rules.

          Maybe not a "consumer-grade" service like GMail, sure, but that doesn't mean web services are out, it just means there's a market for web-deliver
        • by Ryan Amos (16972)
          This is why you have SLAs with your service providers. Often these will get into specifying details like backups, SOX compliance and uptime with financial penalties associated for missing them.

          I can put this in different terms: How is storing your data offsite much different than hiring employees to do it? At least if you run into problems on an offsite solution, you can sue and get some compensation; if your employees fuck up all you can do is fire them. You just have to be picky about service vendors like
    • Dont hold your breath, people are doing it every day, and have been since the beginning.
    • by NineNine (235196)
      i don't want my company data on someone else's servers.

      I used to think that, too. Then, I found out I could let somebody else deal with the headaches and liability, so I outsourced it. Just in the past 6 months, I've outsourced both our web hosting, and I switched out our dumb POP mail server for an Exchange Server hosted elsewhere. Now that we don't have to deal with worrying about the server, we can spend more time and energy on the parts of our business that actually makes us money.

      Data, schmata. Th
      • by dave562 (969951)
        Here's me putting myself out there and admitting that I don't have all the answers, so with that bit of humility out of the way.... How do you deal with the bandwidth issue?

        One of my clients has 4 sites connected on an UUNet/MCI MPLS network. They run Exchange and they need to run servers at each of the sites to hold the mailboxes locally at those sites because otherwise, trying to open mailboxes across the network from the remote sites is an exercise in frustration. Maybe that's just an Exchange misconfi

        • by NineNine (235196)
          I dunno. I own a 10 person company, and it's just fine for us. We have just a regular ol' 3 Mbps DSL connection. My buddy has a 6 person attorney's office that relies on Exchange for much more stuff than I do, and he doesn't have any problems. I dunno. Sounds like some kind of mis-configuration on the server end. I'd call them up and let them fix it. It works pretty easily for my and my friends' business, and we both just have plain ol' business DSL.
          • by dave562 (969951)
            Thanks for the reply but I think we're talking about two completely different scales here. You have a couple of people accessing Exchange on a DSL line. I have multiple sites accessing Exchange, terminal services, and a few other applications across an MPLS network.

            The biggest obsticle to outsourcing that I have seen is the bandwidth required to make it work. For small offices with a few people it isn't much of a problem. For 100+ users using a variety of applications, it starts to get really expensive.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        We're currently in the process of moving from an externally-hosted mail service to having Exchange on site. I think it's a horrible, terrible mistake to have your email outside your company, and I'll explain why:

        1. An email to anyone internal to the company has to traverse your network link twice.
        2. It makes document retention more difficult. If you are subject to sarbanes-oxley or are involved in pending federal litigation you must retain all incoming email for something like two years.
        3. Who's reading your e
        • by NineNine (235196)
          1. An email to anyone internal to the company has to traverse your network link twice.

          Eh, so what?

          2. It makes document retention more difficult. If you are subject to sarbanes-oxley or are involved in pending federal litigation you must retain all incoming email for something like two years.

          Actually, it's easier. If we need more disk space, the Exchange service provider just gives us more space. I don't have to deal with adding hard drives, servers, etc. Hell, I don't even have to notify anybody, th
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            An email to anyone internal to the company has to traverse your network link twice.

            Eh, so what?

            So you need more bandwidth when your data is stored outside your company.

            If you don't need as much, you don't buy as much, and you don't pay as much. Saving money is good.

            It makes document retention more difficult. If you are subject to sarbanes-oxley or are involved in pending federal litigation you must retain all incoming email for something like two years.

            Actually, it's easier. If we need more

            • by NineNine (235196)
              Could you please let me know where you work? Since privacy isn't important to you, I want to avoid ever doing business with you. You might not care, but your customers do.

              Oh yeah... I forgot to mention... my attorney has his office set up the same way. Sorry, but I'm going to listen to my attorney over a tin-foil hat wearing Slashdot freak.
              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                Oh yeah... I forgot to mention... my attorney has his office set up the same way. Sorry, but I'm going to listen to my attorney over a tin-foil hat wearing Slashdot freak.

                Slashdot freak? I'll remind you that you have a login here, too. To some people, we are all freaks. How much do you get paid to try to discredit people who care about privacy, anyway?

                What makes you think that a lawyer is making intelligent decisions about technology? That's like assuming that IT professionals are going to give you e

    • don't want my company data on someone else's servers.

      That is easily solved by suitable encryption.
    • Would you rather keep your priceless heirlooms in a safe under your bed, or would you rather keep them in a safe deposit box in a bank vault? Sure you could spend the money to build a vault in your own home to protect them, but you'd probably have to sell the heirlooms to pay for it. Plus, you know jack shit about bank security. What do you do when someone actually attempts to break into your super vault?

      I'm guessing you would feel much safer with the bank.
    • by Ryan Amos (16972)
      Does it matter? Can you protect your data better than they can? Probably not.

      If someone really wants to steal your data, there are other ways of doing it. SaaS vendors take security very seriously, and if you're a small or medium sized company, the SaaS vendor's production environment is likely a far safer place for your data than on your network (they are likely running a combination of NIDS and host-based IDS and probably have a 3rd-party security firm doing regular testing, as well as good coding practic
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:17PM (#17163056) Journal
    someone needs to remind him of the little 'botnet' problem that is currently going around. Sure, pan global networks are a good thing, and will bring us good thing... BUT the only thing they are bringing us right now is SPAM, SPAM, and more SPAM.

    Sure, there is Google and eBay et al, but look at the reality of things... all that really needs to happen to stop the world is for 2 of those 5 computers to be infested with spam spewing botnets.

    I think that the world is as ready as I am for that to happen... lets just shelve this cute idea before the botnet owners get word of it
  • by Recovering Hater (833107) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:18PM (#17163076)
    That's right. I download it for free. :P
  • by Nasarius (593729)
    Sun and others have been predicting this ("the network is the computer") for about a decade. Nothing significant has changed, except for the presence of broadband. It remains a stupid idea.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by inviolet (797804)
      Sun and others have been predicting this ("the network is the computer") for about a decade. Nothing significant has changed, except for the presence of broadband. It remains a stupid idea.

      Do you recall that "the network is the computer" idea required ubiquitous broadband?

      Only now, and over the next few years, is the idea even practical. So hold your horses, and watch.

    • I agree! Ever since I first heard Sun use that slogan, I thought it was dumb. If you ask me, "The Network is FOR the Computer" - and that's all there is to it!

      All of these large corporations (IBM, Sun, Microsoft, etc.) envision making a fortune by renting you your software (by serving it to you over the Internet). Like everything else in life though, you've got a LARGE number of folks who'd much rather own than rent. Renting has historically only made sense in the short-term, usually as a "stop gap" mea
      • So tell me again why I'd want to continuously RENT my applications rather then buy software licenses and install/run the stuff on my OWN equipment?

        Maybe because the application has pretty hefty hardware requirements? I notice that Salesforce.com is raking in the dough, largely because most CRM systems require two or three servers (and I don't mean Linux on a white box, think something [sun.com] like [hp.com] this [ibm.com]. And that's per site, you'll probably have your main servers and a second set at a backup site (or at least one big one that can virtualize any of the others). And then there's the bandwidth, power, cooling, storage...

        Here's a bad analogy for you: computers

      • by bigpat (158134)
        Rent versus owning can be for a variety of reasons. I could live in an apartment and have a quality of life the same as I do now for much less money, but I wish to have control over my future. Since I own and have a fixed mortgage rate, then I know what my mortgage payment will be 10-20 years from now, but I don't know what it will cost to rent an equivalent apartment because rents are driven by demand. So to with Software. But I also am aware that I am not making out as well in the short term because
      • by ffejie (779512)
        You rent a car for a weekend trip, or because the car you own is in the shop for major repairs. You rent an apartment or house because you need someplace to stay, but you aren't in a position, financially, where you can buy a house yet. You likely rent furniture or appliances from a "rent a center" type of establishment because you want to live above your means, and don't have the patience to save up to buy it. So tell me again why I'd want to continuously RENT my applications rather then buy software licen
        • The "depreciation" argument is somewhat compelling, but when it comes to computers and software, I think it's too simplistic. Yes, I.T. is always a "cost" for business. But many businesses have an I.T. dept. because they realize it's a cost that produces a net benefit for the business as a whole.

          If leases were really as great a deal for people as they promise, few people would ever want to offer them. (What are the sellers doing with the off-lease items? Obviously, they've found ways to recoup the depre
          • by ffejie (779512)
            You bring up a lot of good points. My biggest concern would be traveling. As someone who does a significant amount of travel for business, I would be worried if we went to a network based Office Suite. It's still not easy for me to get internet access everywhere -- and planes are still a nightmare. I can usually hop on a WiFi point at the airport or the train, but not always. One thing I used to be able to do is setup expense reports on the plane on the way home. I liked doing it then because I was almost a
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        You rent a car for a weekend trip, or because the car you own is in the shop for major repairs.

        This is a great example of why you're wrong. Or at least, partially wrong.

        It's only the US that has so many cars. Everywhere else in the world, people are pretty likely to use public transportation. We have cars in the US because of successful lobbying - public funding for the rail network was cannibalized and applied to the highway system instead. As a result, instead of [comparatively] easily and cheaply

        • by darkwhite (139802)
          they want the "freedom" of being able to decide where they go (even though everything related to cars is heavily regulated.)

          It's absolutely ridiculous to imply that a car doesn't offer a massive increase in personal freedom. If you disagree, you probably aren't using your freedom much.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            It's absolutely ridiculous to imply that a car doesn't offer a massive increase in personal freedom. If you disagree, you probably aren't using your freedom much.

            Does a car offer a net increase in personal freedom? If you have a car you must have a valid mailing address, you must submit to a number of indignities normally reserved for criminals including photographing and fingerprinting, you must provide a valid and registered birth certificate (no photocopies.) You are told where you can go, how fast y

    • Don't be so sure (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RingDev (879105)
      I was thinking the same thing when I first read this. I want to own and operate my own software. But then I looked at my online usage.

      I play WoW. Yeah I bought the software, but the software is worthless with out the online services.

      I use Vent. Free software, guild pays for services.

      I use hotmail. I don't even have an email client installed at home.

      I could go from example to example of how online services have replaced many of my digital and non-digital based activities.

      Online services will never be an abso
    • The network is the computer? I can totally buy into that shit. That concept's gold. In the future one computer ain't enough to do those futuristic tasks we do. No, the PC is replaced by a network of computers. Everybody has his own one and techies will have a whole network-network.

      You know, next version of Windows? You'll need a cluster to run that bitch. And you'll love it. Linux won't even boot on anything less than a 40-machine grid. The difference between a low-consumption compu-net and a regular one
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:20PM (#17163104)
    You don't buy software, you buy the consequence of the software.

    Welcome to the industry, Greg Pramanamana. In the great game of IT sales, the men will tell you that it's always been about pitching benefits (what you call "consequences"). What you actually close with doesn't really matter. Over time the deliverables have almost always been a combination of hardware, software and services; the mix may change over time but the mix will change again when someone's pricing model makes the alternatives look attractive again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by OECD (639690)

      ...the mix will change again when someone's pricing model makes the alternatives look attractive again.

      Or they remember to factor things like data vulnerability into their pricing model.

  • by Doctor Memory (6336) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:29PM (#17163210)
    What, exactly, is the internet's competition? Internet II? Minitel? I notice that no-one's offering me a discount to switch from using the internet to "MegaCorp's NEW ULTRAnet! (now with 30% more fiber!)".
    • by Slipgrid (938571)
      Just an idea, but maybe Google is the competition of the Internet. Google indexes almost every web page worth reading, or they would have you think they do. The keep indexes over time of the changes of the pages. They index their index of the pages, and then they form opinions on the page.

      This begs the question, is Google part of the Internet, or is the Internet now a subset of Google?
      • is Google part of the Internet, or is the Internet now a subset of Google?
        Or more generically, is the internet the network, or the services it provides? To many people, the internet is just the WWW. They may know their e-mail travels over it, but to them they "get on" the internet by firing up their browser.
  • by silentounce (1004459) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:29PM (#17163220) Homepage
    He later when on to say that in the future "no one will own cars because the public transportation system will be so good. Also, private property will be consolidated and we will live in communes so as to provide cheaper maintenance. I mean, who wants to mow their own lawn."
     
    He even went so far as to say that the concept of marriage will soon be dead. "In the future, everyone will frequent brothels. Anybody who fucks a whore is in fact consuming a service. They are contributing to a larger-scale brothel rather than them marrying some broad and sticking her in a house. I mean, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for cheap?"
    • Just the other day I was speculating that there was a global conspiracy by OPEC, UPS, and FedEx, and of course the DuPont family to squash teleportation technology.
      I like this guy's way of thinking. =P
    • by cmburns69 (169686)

      I mean, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for cheap?


      You say that in jest, but when was the last time you went out to your barn and physically milked a cow just to drink some milk?
  • by mpapet (761907)
    I had the great displeasure of browsing ebay after not visiting for a long time. Ugh!

    I think his motivation for saying these things has more to do with keeping his job than reality.
  • Wishful thinking? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:37PM (#17163320) Homepage
    Every software company out there wants "software as a service" to become the New World Order because it represents the Holy Grail: a reliable continuous revenue stream from existing customers.

    When you sell software, you get a one-time payment that may or may not ever be repeated. When you sell software as a service, you get continuous revenue. This is what every software company wants. The question is, is this what the client wants.

    Enterprise software companies are making a huge push into this space, but I'm still not convinced that the market for it is big enough, at least not yet. For software as a service to work, the client needs to trust its vendor far more than they do now, because not only are they trusting the vendor to provide them a piece of software, they're also trusting the vendor to handle the bulk of their IT functions as well.

    This may be desirable for some companies, but I think the vendors are vastly overestimating the market because they want to believe EVERYONE will jump at the chance to hand over control to the vendor.

    Obviously, there are some advantages for the client as well, such as being able to do things like true Disaster Recovery, and being able to sit in state of the art data centers and have real backup solutions, things that may cost far more if they wanted to implement them on their own. Even so, I just can't shake the feeling that the size of this market is more fantasy than reality at this point.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm not sure I agree with you. In consumer land, yes, purchasing software is often a one-time thing as you may decide never to purchase an upgraded version. Often times this is no big deal, you switch from Graphics Program A to Graphics Program B, woopee.

      However, in the corporate world it's a bit different. The box on a shelf model of purchasing software doesn't apply so much. We purchase software and then pay for it yearly under expensive maintenance contracts. After years of using a software package,
  • Missing the forest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BeBoxer (14448) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:39PM (#17163340)
    From the blog:

    Of course there are many, many more service providers but they will almost all go the way of YouTube; they'll get eaten by one of the majors.

    The faulty logic here is that it presumes that new independent service providers aren't sprouting up every day. He sees the big trees in the forest, but misses the seeds and sprouts. Maybe that's just because the little guys don't buy pricy Sun hardware, so Sun doesn't see them. But they are there. I have no doubt that for every one web site that gets bought up by the big guys there are many more which don't.

    What I see is that the Internet is an exceptionally fertile ground for seeds to sprout in. The existence of large companies such as Yahoo and Google doesn't change that. His comparison to the energy sector is flawed. The ease with which somebody can start up a new web site (sorry, "service provider") is in no way comparable to what it takes to start a new energy provider. Not even close.

    It's this kind of nonsense which makes me wonder about the long term viability of Sun. It's no secret that cheap commodity boxes are eating them from the bottom up. So he spins this fairly tale about how all the small web sites (which don't run on Sun hardware) will simply cease to exist leaving only the mega sites (which do buy Sun hardware). Let me know how that works out for you.
    • by UtucXul (658400)

      So he spins this fairly tale about how all the small web sites (which don't run on Sun hardware) will simply cease to exist leaving only the mega sites (which do buy Sun hardware). Let me know how that works out for you.

      I pretty much agree with you except that most of the big sites he mentions don't use Sun hardware either. Google is pretty well know for using cheap hardware. Microsoft isn't exactly known for running on Sun stuff. So it isn't even clear things look good for Sun even if this idea comes

      • by BeBoxer (14448)
        most of the big sites he mentions don't use Sun hardware either. Google is pretty well know for using cheap hardware. Microsoft isn't exactly known for running on Sun stuff.

        You're right, a lot of them don't. But the folks who do use a lot of Sun hardware tend to be the big players.

        Sort of too bad though since I've spent enough time on Ultra 10s to have a certain fondness for Sun hardware.

        Bah, kids these days. I spent many an hour doing sys-admin duties for a Sun 690MP server and a bunch of SparcStation 2 an
      • by Raffaello (230287)
        If you read the interview you'll see that he also has a fairy story that predicts how Google will not be able to maintain their current practice of using cheap, custom hardware and will have to buy from big iron vendors (presumably sun of course).

        It's as if he were interviewed in a sleep lab while he was having a really good dream.
    • >What I see is that the Internet is an exceptionally fertile ground for seeds to sprout in.
      >The existence of large companies such as Yahoo and Google doesn't change that. His comparison to
      >the energy sector is flawed. The ease with which somebody can start up a new web site (sorry,
      >"service provider") is in no way comparable to what it takes to start a new energy provider. Not even close.

      Excellent post. And, pardon my topic derailment, but I'd like to take this time to point out to everyone tha
  • ""Let's see, the Google grid is one. Microsoft's live.com is two. Yahoo!, Amazon.com, eBay, Salesforce.com "" Let us see... Yahoo is the new AOL so they are out. salesforce will be amalgamated in to Oracle and become the SaaS arm of whatever shape the whole oracle/siebel/SAP side of legacy software looks like Amazon will stay in the game (see mturk for relevance), and eBay may yet survive. That leaves three and possible 2 since amazon+ebay would make a good combo. so there. > go Frank.
  • by Denial93 (773403) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:46PM (#17163476)
    Gabbad the shaman, in a talk given today, announced that more and more service were absorbed by housing. "Look at the leatherer over there - he has abandoned his own tent and started using a house for his work. Likewise, the shepherds down south have given up the freedom of their own pastures and moved into houses at least over the winter. This means they aren't craftsmen anymore, they are sort of sub-services of housing. While there certainly are incentives for this trend, we should understand we are becoming dangerously dependent on the providers of housing. Masons and carpenters are monopolizing our economy!"

    The shaman went on to warn: "If this trend continues, at some point there could be no craftsmen living outside of houses anymore! It is obvious this would be a great loss to our culture and society!"
  • by szelus (580884)
    Argument about eBay misses a point.
    I don't believe anybody that sells on eBay is there because of a few scripts. They are there because of the buyers that search this site. Indeed, it's the unique marketplace, and marketplace was always a service. The fact, that eBay is a virtual one changes nothing.
  • This is the company that has consistently managed to position itself in shrinking market niche's since 2001 and currently has no viable long-term market strategy. The most notable thing about Sun over the past few years has been there complete lack of ability to predict and utilize the market in any useful way. If Greg Papadopoulos had any normal ego he'd be far too embarrassed to be making public prophecies about the internet than this.

    One would have thought that given Sun's current headlong decline into
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Friday December 08, 2006 @01:05PM (#17163740) Homepage Journal
    Software as a service? Yeah... I'm sure we're all going to want to be running Photoshop via the net and trust our precious photos to a third party. I can only agree to a point which is that each family or household should have an expandable central computer that can be scaled to the family. It would provide vital services that each family needs: web server, mail server, VPN server, file server, print server, time server, etc... Families should then be able to interconnect those machines via a LAN-to-LAN VPN system. And of course it should use friendly names that Joe and Jane Average can relate to. Do away with "central server" and call it a "FamilyNet Appliance" or some such claptrap. "Aunt Mary and Uncle John just got a FamilyNet box! Let's link them up the next time they come over. Aunt Mary said that she will bring the Trustcard (a flash device that stores and exchanges encryption keys between trusted machines along with IP info. Static IPs would be required for FamilyNet boxes.) with her so that their system will connect to ours. THAT gives the power to the end-user and not businesses. I don't know about you, but I don't even trust my e-mail to anyone but myself. I run my own mail server. I have ever since an ISP took my account of five years and gave it to someone else when they bought my old ISP and pretty much screwed every high-end customer over.

    I think the Sun CTO's predictions also overlook what it is that people actually do with their computers. He's looking at it from completely the wrong angle: business application, specifically e-commerce. The majority of people use their computers for recreational and creative purposes. Sure, you have things like Youtube and MySpace that are all the rage right now, but they are merely distribution points. They aren't actual tools. TO put a video up on Youtube requires that you have a video camera, video capture capabilities on your PC or Mac, and ideally editing software plus all the associated tools to create the content. This is what people WANT. Until we all have 10 gigabit links to the internet and latency is sufficiently low, I don't think that content production tools are suited for network publishing over the internet (aka Software as a Service). This guy's head is up his ass in my opinion.
    • "I think the Sun CTO's predictions also overlook what it is that people actually do with their computers. He's looking at it from completely the wrong angle: business application, specifically e-commerce. The majority of people use their computers for recreational and creative purposes."

      And I think you're completely missing the target audience of the interview: IT people. Note that he says in the summary: "It really is the running of what we think of as IT through the network." Nobody says that everyone's g
    • by ffejie (779512)
      He's looking at it from completely the wrong angle

      Speaking of looking at it from the wrong angle... did you read your own post?

      . It would provide vital services that each family needs: web server, mail server, VPN server, file server, print server, time server, etc...

      Time Server? VPN Server? Mail Server? What family needs any of this stuff? Almost every family can barely keep a Windows (or Mac) system operational and doing what they want, let alone administer a mail server! I'm a nerd, but even I d
      • by eno2001 (527078)
        Running a home server is pretty negligable in terms of cost. My main server probably costs no more than $2 maybe $5 a month to run 24/7. It does nearly everything I outlined above with a few exceptions. However, my main point was that if the appliance was done right, it would make these things seamless to the end user.. It's seamless to my wife and the friends and family who use my darknet to access internal resources. Hell... I'm even setting up a private VoIP network for the softphones on said friend
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ffejie (779512)
          My main server probably costs no more than $2 maybe $5 a month to run 24/7.

          How do you figure? Maybe my math is wrong.

          300W x 24 hours / day x 30 days / month = 216kW-hours per month

          In my area, a kW-hour costs about 14 cents. But, lets say you live in CA where I understand electricity runs about 12 cents/kWh.

          216kWh / month x 0.12 $ / kWh = $25.92 / month.

          Looks like you might be running up a bigger bill than you think.

          The net connection where I am has only gone down twice in nearly four years
    • by daigu (111684)

      Umm, do most families need "web server, mail server, VPN server, file server, print server, time server, etc..."? I'm a geek and all, but I don't need or want to run a web or mail server from my home.

      Also, you also have to factor in this guy works for Sun. Families don't buy Sun boxes nor would they be buying Sun services (not counting Java for obvious reasons).

    • by Spectra72 (13146)
      oftware as a service? Yeah... I'm sure we're all going to want to be running Photoshop via the net and trust our precious photos to a third party.

      yeah, what do those Flickr people think they're doing? Or Snapfish, or Kodak online services. People trusted their photos to 3rd parties for DECADES. Only a very tiny minority ever developed film on their own back in the "olden days".

      I don't know about you, but I don't even trust my e-mail to anyone but myself. I run my own mail server.

      Well good for you. The succe
      • by eno2001 (527078)
        No. You totally missed my point. Which is: I have NO interest in computers for business. There is no point to using them that way. To me computers are a creative tool for producing music, movies, images and software as expressions of the mind and soul. I don't care for any other use much. To others, this might seem alien. But to me, it is the only way. So what he offers has no appeal to me whatsoever. It might to some lame suit in a business though. That's fine. There's always got to be room for
  • I really don't think eBay can be said as a marketplace.

    The only people who sell there are individuals or companies looking to dump refurbished, returned or old merchandise.

    The fact that ebay+paypal fees are ridiculously high makes it a killer for any business to sell there. They basically host to people who have nowhere else to sell by charging enormous fees.

    I know a few people who have tried to make a living or business out of selling on eBay and have always concluded that it's not worth it at all.

  • You'd think that the company with their trend of the stock chart would refrain from "predicting" anything. Predict some shit that will boost your stock price for starters. :-)
  • What he means to say is that he "wishes" that it's all going to be a serivce. He "wishes" that he can sell us a stupid word app that plugs into the internet, and that we pay him $20 per month for the rest of eternity. Well, I got news for him - the future of software is free, as in freedom, as in Linux, apache, firefox, and ironically open office. While companies will pay for SERVICES or for expertice to make sure all systems are go, and while the cost of that service per value will go down over time bec
  • Which is Ok, because its just one kind of software. Internet users have a variety of needs - gaming, peer to peer, video-conferencing, remote control of medical or other equipment. None of this is addressed by HTML forms or perhaps even current Internet infrastructure. Let the companies who can not make profit on another search engine or web mail client innovate. After all, IBM and DEC used to hold monopoly on web forms (known as intelligent terminals at that time) and look what happened.
    • by Bryansix (761547)
      Java, Flash, AJAX, Bit Torrent... none of those address the gaming, peer-to-peer, video-conferencing, or remote control of medical equipment problems right?
  • Wow! That's all I can say to the response this article has received so far. Flame, Flame and more Flame. Look, there are reasons to have application service providers. I understand the arguments against the idea (data integrity, don't pay the bill and lose the data, etc.) but there are pros to the argument as well. For one systems like this can be deployed in such a way that LAN's are irrelevant as well as VPN's. A user instead can be given a secure connection via a website to any application/service they n
  • Losing competition on the Internet doesn't concern me that much.

    When we start lose //cooperation// on the Internet, then we'll be in trouble.

    I mean, that is what the Internet was invented to do, now, wasn't it?
  • I remember when sun predicted this about their search engine Altavista, their backend Enterprise Java and about Red Hat's linux deployment, too.

    Nostradamus they are not.
  • But no matter how much Sun talks about it, they won't be the company delivering it and they won't get rich from it, given the products they actually ship.
  • Sun is always saying crazy things, and then always changing their mind.

    Wasn't it sun that said that hardware would be free, and only hardware would be sold? I can not even keep track of the times that sun has changed their position on: x86, Linux, and GPL.

    I don't think any of the other major tech companies are like this.
  • "The network is the computer."

    No, it's not. Never was, never will be.

    There's a REASON you have TWO concepts: "computer" and "network".

    Conflating the two is just marketing hype from people who want to control your access to knowledge and computing power. That's the deal with Microsoft and it's the same deal from Sun - which is why Sun is ultimately doomed, despite OSS'ing Java and the like.

    Sun - and Microsoft - just don't get it.
    • by jdigriz (676802)
      The network is the computer from the perspective of the naive user, who, when denied access to a web application due to grievous misconfiguration of his network's firewall or due to network failure calls his IT guy and says "The computer's broken". Previously the user accessed standalone apps on his unnetworked computer. He was able to do his work. Now he has moved to a web application, and he doesn't get to use his app unless the network works. So, by dividing aspects of the software application betwee

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