According to me Sun does have tendency to be destroyed however if Sun has marketing peoples that mastering technology and marketing in balance then Sun can still survive. The problem is Sun marketing peoples seems mastering technology more than marketing unlike marketing peoples of Microsoft.
The Meryl Lynch analyst that said Sun is going to bankrupt is going a little overboard. Sun still has deposit of 4 billions US$ in the bank. Although it’s true that Sun having losses but Sun can still survive and reap profit as long Sun has the right strategy. Actually Sun main profit centre is selling hardware. In the past before PC become this powerful and Linux available Sun is quite profitable. Sun sold a lot of UNIX server hardware. Sun competitors are IBM, Digital, HP and SGI. Digital bought by Compaq. Compaq did not put first priority in high-end UNIX server because its main business is selling PC. Compaq buy digital mainly to get excellent engineers of Digital. HP is one of the smartest one when HP sees the increase in PC capacity and rise of cluster architecture in PC they stop developing their PA-RISC processor and switch to Itanium architecture and make Intel their best friend. Compaq did the same thing that is stop developing Alpha processor and switch to Itanium architecture. Compaq finally merge with HP. That means Sun main competitor is IBM. But IBM is also slowdown AIX development and focusing in running Linux in all its hardware line. SGI at this time also sell Itanium server with Linux.
Seeing this happens we can see that for high-end server in the future there are only 2 dominant architectures:
- Proprietary hardware (SPARC/PowerPC/MIPS) with proprietary OS (Solaris/AIX/Irix).
- Intel compatible hardware (Itanium/Opteron) cluster with Linux OS.
Companies will only choose architecture if their need is very high. Most of the company (90%) will choose architecture 2. This means market for Sun goods that produce lots of money getting smaller. Sun competitor this time IBM and HP already do the transition first. Sun is sleeping and still considers their proprietary solution is the best. Even though their solution is the best and they will be able to dominate market but the market is only 10%! They have to do the transition and excel at architecture 2 if not then the market for their goods keep shrinking.
Actually Sun has opportunity to transition into service and solution provider like IBM. Unfortunately in Java world Sun lost in J2EE application server competition form IBM, Oracle, BEA and JBoss. High-end market has been taken by IBM, Oracle and BEA while Sun only get little portion of the market. Low-end market has already been taken by JBoss. But Sun actually can get more portion of this market if Sun focus in this market. Even though do not excel in technology Sun can still excel by marketing program. For example an excellent marketing program is: Son sold Itanium server bundled with Linux and JBoss application server and documentation. If customers buy the server in cluster configuration then JBoss already comes configured as cluster. Biggest market for now is in mass-market, high-volume and low-margin market so Sun should embrace mass-market player like JBoss. Another excellent marketing program is: Sun create Java processor for Intel hardware. If the price is cheap and it can drastically increase performance of Java application many companies will buy it. I know Sun once create Pico Java and Micro Java but that’s not what I mean. What I mean is a co-processor in the form of PCI card which can be plugged in Intel compatible server and immediately increase Java speed drastically. Processor like this will sell a lot for companies using J2EE technology.