CTO Makeover in Second Life

A while back, we did some simple math on launch events at Sun – we spent a ton of money, got 500 – 1000 invited guests into the audience, and missed most of the planet. By definition, our marketplace can’t fit into a single room. So we began streaming our launch events via the web.

Lo and behold, when we counted our web audience, the numbers were staggering – we were reaching 100,000’s of people. So we took the money we were otherwise spending on launch events in luxury hotels, and moved it to improve the global web experience – the chandeliers weren’t quite as fancy, but we wanted the audience focused on content, not crystal.

So for those interested in viewing our Niagara 2 launch event, follow this link, and take a look at the video casts (they’re broken into chapters for digestability).

For the truly technical, take a look at the 3rd chapter, in which Rick Hetherington, CTO for our Microelectronics team appears in Second Life (looking fit and stylish, the hallmark of a Sun CTO) to fly the audience through the microprocessor and its core technical specifications.

All kidding aside, we used Second Life to provide a visual overview for the audience of how Niagara 2 is built – it was remarkably effective… (again, videos are here.)

And speaking of reaching a global audience, we just announced we’re bringing our Startup Essentials program to India and China. Startup Essentials targets small and young companies with some of the most aggressive discounts we offer on hardware systems (remember, the software’s already free) – more info here.


Filed under General

31 responses to “CTO Makeover in Second Life

  1. Can we please have OpenSolaris completely released under GPL3? Linus doesn’t want Linux to go that way. What about you, Mr Schwartz?

  2. Please don’t waste your money on more Second Life launches. I have attempted to visit one in game, and was unable too due to the pitifully small number of users that can be in one ‘sim’ at a time. At most your Second Life work can reach a few hundred people at once. Is Second Life the new ‘expensive hotel’ ?

  3. David Kopp

    Is there some way to download the video clips, or are they only viewable online?
    Oh, and congratulations on an awesome chip.

  4. mcn

    As you already know, your Java for windows comes with two items from google.
    What you might not know, is that users who do not want to have their desktop and browser changed to google, are forced to wage a weekly battle to protect their computer from that unwanted google software.
    The solution, of course, is to remove Sun Java and use one of the opensource alternatives or do without it.

  5. Bravo! To this list of Start-up Essentials, I would add Japan and Korea. These are burdgeoning markets, and some are even more wired than us in the USA. I guess that’s why I’m working towards learning Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. 🙂 As for moving the energy spent on the launch of the T2 to the web, awesome! I, though, don’t think it should be an either, or propostion. Why not spend a little money on the IRL(In Real Life) launch, and some money on the Web Launch. I see the web as a tool to enhance and extend, and better your business, but not as a replacement or a base for one’s business. Still need the brick-n-mortar. 🙂 The last time I checked, this was still the Information Age, with a capital "I". Give us Inforamtion, Flood us with Information, overwhelm us with information…we’ll get over it. Content is really information, and in cyberspace the yardstick that measures content is s/n…signal to noise ratio. Give more signal, and less noise, and you hook us, give us more noise, and less signal, and you turn us off and away. Simple. 🙂 Cheers, to the T2! A toast to the future! Powered by Sun…

  6. Ben

    I’m curious why you don’t offer the Startup Essentials in the UK. Surely that’s quite a big market? Or aren’t there enough potential startups?
    I ask as someone who would probably qualify, if my company was in the US.

  7. Very nice video indeed, but why the Real Networks format .ra? Real Player is one of the "free" products that I really don’t want to install in my computer. Promote .ogg instead 🙂

  8. Bernard

    Mr. Schwartz, congratulations for the blog! I’ve recently read an article about a new scientific breakthrough that I believe will have direct impact on how micro-machines are designed. Scientists says that "The discovery could ultimately lead to frictionless micro-machines with moving parts that levitate". Could you please give us your opinion on this topic? Is this something that you guys at Sun are already working on? Thanks.

  9. Dear Jonathan Schwartz,
    Not impressed. Not enough.
    1. As a Start Up, I signed up already for the Start up Essentials program in India.
    For this program to be effective in India, in its intended purpose, you may have to call Michael Dell, join hands with him, and also call Steve Jobs, Craig Barret, Hector Ruiz and Mark Hurd and together send an email to or make a conference call to India’s Prime Minister and Finance Minister and make them understand that duty structure in India is preventing you from reaching all those who need computers.
    I am serious. Discounted hardware under the Ten Moves Ahead program in India cost in excess of US list prices in full. Start Up essentials will have the same inevitable problem. Computer and accessories prices in India, which ought to have been lower than that of the prices in US due to various reasons such as possibly lower cost of extending warranty and possibly lower channel margins are HIGHER in India. I as a consumer, tend to blame HP, Dell, Apple and Sun for charging me anywhere between 25 and 40% higher than the prices that you charge to your fellow Americans.
    2. As a Start-Up-with-plans-aligned-to-Sun, I find the program inadequate.
    The Start Up Essentials program is impressive enough for start ups doing business with Sun as emerging customers. But not enough for start ups that start up with products and services that revolve around and would further the products and services that Sun offers. Would you please think of a Start Up Essentials Program for Developers and Partners?
    Sun has its Developer Network, it has its Partner Advantage program and I as a Developer (Don’t ask me if I speak code) and as a miniscule Partner have a hundred and more reasons to feel thankful to these programs and owe tons of ice creams and chocolates to 1) a Sun Executive from an unlikely division who constantly mentors me beyond these programs, 2) to those executives who have received me once or twice to hear me receptively and 3) to those Executives who have supportively spoken to me once or twice and 4) To Open Solaris that Sun nurtures which has been helping me in so many ways.
    But I have a problem. I don’t easily fit into any of these programs. There are many developers and partners who don’t fit into the overall structure evolved to generally suit developers and partners with diverse needs. Some of us suffer limitations, because the components specifically required for a certain developer or partner is missing, has not been thought of or not incorporated because it is not what the "majority" needs. This kind of situations are not easily resolved by sending an email to an alias, or by talking to an answering machine in the Developer network.
    I don’t need to download ten thousand dollars in software for free, I need a mobile processor that Intel and AMD don’t easily sell if you are not Dell or HP. At the moment, in this example situation, Partner Advantage program does not have an offering and they wouldn’t know how to handle this need, simply because most Partners develop software, not hardware. Partner Advantage program gave me access to EzQual lab, which would have been invaluable for a software developer but I surrendered it the next day thanking them for the gesture that I could not make use of. What I need is a Technical Expert by my side who will look at a motherboard that I have with me and tell me where the keyboard goes.
    So what kind of a Start Up Essentials is needed for Developers and Partners? A program that would have a mentoring system, a program that would assign a relationship executive, one that will modify and suit program offerings case by case.
    What else would I need to start up, if I have to emerge as a mighty Partner with products that would significantly complement Sun? What would I need, to work on products that Sun would take up built up and mature, but wouldn’t jump into on its own either because it is expensive for it to get into or because it is a bit shy to get into?
    This is what I need. I need you to hold my hands.
    Or assign someone to hold my hands, FORMALLY, with authority from Sun. I need you to take me to Intel and AMD or to Texas Instruments if for some reason I have to reach them. I need you to spellcheck my business plan. I need you to take me to the Band of Angels or to Intel Capital. I need you to buy me an ice cream when I am occasionally down.
    That is all that is essential for me as a start up, to emerge as a Partner that you will be proud of.
    In summary, I need a Start Up essentials program or a more personalized Partner Advantage program, with a face, with some one talk to, with an office to walk into, manned by Executives empowered with authority to deviate from all rules and procedures.
    And, if you don’t announce such a program within the next 72 hours …. I am sorry, I don’t have an option. I will have to do this. If you don’t announce such a program within the next 72 hours I WILL SEND YOU AN EMAIL, DIRECT TO YOUR COMPUTER. I am capable, I know your email address. It is Jonathan dot schwartz at sun dot com. Or I will do something even more drastic as get into a plane and walk into your office.
    It is wiser to fill up the system than to leave a gap that requires a direct request…
    And, the arithmetic of a single room Vs worldwide launch is impressive. May be under the new Partner Advantage program to be announced in 72 hours I might ask my Relationship Exeuctive at the Partner Advantage program or the Start Up Essentials (Developer Edition) to talk to you and launch my products as Partner products in the same manner as you have launched Niagra 2?
    (Comment compiled using Star Office installed on a product prototype built for Solaris, which if launched the same way as Niagra2, will soon feature Niagra2, perhaps a little scaled Down)

  10. Vasu

    Great Job with the T2. Now, I was certainly intrigued by the banter between you and your executives about a laptop that might carry a lighter version of T2 – T2Lite, if you may. All kidding aside, it would be a killer product if you can get Project Indiana running on a laptop powered by T2Lite.

  11. Marcelo

    The video download is a bit large and subject to network hiccups. Can we have them as a torrent link, please?

  12. Peter

    It’s a pity that startup essential is not available in Europe. While not the fastest growing corner in the world, there are a lot of startups e.g. in the telecommunications industry.
    Further, I want to congratulate you and all the Sun staff, for all the efforts put in R&D and your energy put in open-sourcing almost your whole stack (let’s forget Theo de Raadt for a while… 🙂
    I still have to rant a little bit about Sun sales. It seems to me your sales staff is just waiting beside the phone for large customers to call, and then trying to sell stuff with the highest margin.
    In fact, there is absolutly no interest in selling small boxes to SMEs. It seems to me, that your sales staff is affraid of real work? I therefore propose that you reward your sales higher, when selling small boxes (especially when selling Sun-Rays!).
    I talked to a lot of people I know in many different companies and we came to the conclusion that Sun really has a marketing and sales problem. It can’t be the technology.
    Last but not least, you have to forbid the usage of anything else than Solaris on sales person’s laptops used for customer presentations. Why should your customers buy something from you, if even your sales staff uses Windows?

  13. will

    Why 2nd Life ? David Yen cannot describe the CPU architecture in detail ?
    OK, let me know where to download 2nd Life client for Solaris 10. Don’t tell me can’t find it. Don’t send me a bunch of command line scripts for "compiling" the client.
    You still don’t know where Sun goes wrong.

  14. Tran Van Thap

    Dear Sir,
    I am Tran Van Thap, an Engineer, an account manager of your advantage parthner in Vietnam.I am very interesting reading your blog because my opinion has some same yours,
    Every morning, I always read your blog when starting work, it make me more belief in life.
    Tran Van Thap

  15. Tim Scanlon

    Please keep to CDDL, the GPLv3 is crap, and there is no need for it, or the rancid baggage it creates.

  16. john

    Mr. Schwartz can tell me why Sunw has dropped so dramatically in the past months???
    You always told us sun has new innovations, new products and new…
    but why?

  17. Terry Hunt

    When can we expect a T2 blade for the 6000 series?

  18. Charles Soto

    Maybe in Second Life, you can actually do something about that pony tail! 🙂
    I’ve always appreciated Sun’s online presence. Please keep it up. A recent example is the Constellation class of servers. I read about it, but was only able to truly appreciate it by watching your streams. The next email was to our sales rep. and channel partners (who are doing a great job, BTW).


    Now that we are talking about licensing again, what was it that Sun paid SCO for? SCO got money to financed SCO’s crusade against Linux. But what got Sun? Particularly in the light of the recent ruling.

  20. I’d like to add my voice to the list of people begging for the Sun Startup Essentials programme to be brought to the UK/Europe. I’m perhaps not the ideal qualifying customer, because I’m buying Sun hardware *anyway*, but at this stage in my business, it would be fantastic to get a little better value for my money. Apart from anything else, I’d love to deal with Sun directly in the UK, rather than go through a reseller network…

  21. Jim H

    Yes, where is the hot/smoking/slick java version of second life client for Solaris/Windows/Linux/Mac/etc… Write Once, Run Every Where client that was written in netbeans. One couldn’t do more then prove it with second life. I tried second life many moons ago and boy has it come a long way. Still, I spend many hours on a Solaris desktop and have to come home on my Mac to get in. Urg. You need Google, Yahoo, MS and so on to write their stuff in Run Every Where Java desktop code.
    iPhone is the biggest java disappointment. Apple has been a BIG java disappointment. Where is it??? Why are they behind. I recall Steve Jobs and Scott getting on stage at a Java One making big promises the Apple was going to be a Java platform.
    I’m not the only complaining… See http://java.sys-con.com/read/401760.htm
    I’m not complaining to be a ninny. I want and need Sun to succeed.

  22. Kevin

    Have you considered releasing T2 variants with configurable clock frequencies? You appear to have a patent on the technology (number 7,216,248) unless I misunderstand it. Professor Yen says that you didn’t bump the clock speed to squeeze extra performance, but a flexible processor clock would enable the software (e.g. Solaris) to make that choice according to the customers’ needs at that moment in time. It would certainly be innovative. (Maybe in the future you won’t need processor clocks at all).

  23. Anonymous

    Can Sun not develop the JVM on the Mac OS X platform just like it does for Windows? Stop depending on El Jobso to keep up with Java.

  24. Gil

    Is GreenPlum the answer for Banks, Airlines, Retail and Hotels? I’m hoping Sun learned from it’s storage miscues and doesn’t try to develop commercial database software inhouse.

  25. joe

    This probally not the place to rant. But I am sad to say I must post this. I am a true unix diehard. I discovered unix in college and here it 13 years later I have made a career out of it. Needless to say during that time I gained a wide following for Sun due to its superior technologies. I stuck with you guys during the dot bomb and even till recently.
    the Sun cutbacks are very apparent now. Your phone support team has gone from worldwide excellent to bottom of the barrel. This is not something I am happy to say. Solaris 10 is an excellent product and I know it will have issues like anything else new. But my issue is there is no one home at 800 USA4SUN that can support these issues with sun. Just tonight I am fed up I have been on the phone over 2 and half hours. This was just to find a resource that could debug an explorer -w scextended option. Sounds like a relatively simple problem if someone at sun was an expert in sun explorer. I was getting redirected to people that had not even heard of the product. Needless to say I have given up now on tech support this is just one of many cases. Always running into bug reports that do not fix the issues. In this case the bug id 2136699. What happened to the days of knowledgable tech support?

  26. Regarding the Startup Essentials program: as this program expands, Sun is working hard at overcoming pricing challenges in Non-US areas. As titled, this initiative provides some of the essentials for startups.
    We welcome comments and suggestions such as those from Sivasubramanian Muthusamy. Feedback like his is what got this project started and will shape it going forward.
    More discussion on Sun’s portfolio for Web infrastructure here: http://blogs.sun.com/staso/entry/face_the_spectrum

  27. Sun TSE

    Joe: what version of Explorer are you running? The CR# indicates that was fixed in Explorer version 5.7 and the current Explorer version on sunsolve.sun.com is 5.9.
    Jonathan, sorry to turn your blog into a tech support forum, but this is what I do and it can be hard to shut it off.

  28. I am also a bit dismayed about Startup Essentials not being offered in Canada… I know it’s not exactly the same as the USA but it’s probably the closest you can get (both in term of business laws and physical location). I guess it’s because market size is puny up here, but as a company that would qualify otherwise, I find this to be missed opportunities for SUN…

  29. Anonymous

    this is a follow up to my previous rant about explorer. We found the solution.jazz breaks explorer. explorer has it knowhosts path hardcode to /.ssh. But my complaint was not with the problem. My complaint was with the service I got last night. I was on the phone over two and half hours just trying to find someone that new both explorer and ssh. I got hung up on misrouted. Was told by one person that they would respond in 24 hours. And this was on a sev 1 call. Yes this explorer was a major thing to get out related to something else. Oh and of course I got stuck in at least two 45 queues waiting on backline engineers. And needless to say this is with platnum support.

  30. Start up for India and China — may be they already have Solaris with Smart office running free on their server?

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