The Rise of JAVA – The Retirement of SUNW

I’ve spoken before about the value of brand – this post is a good example. And I wanted to follow up with a few more thoughts, and an important shift in how Sun (NASDAQ:SUNW) presents itself to the world – and more importantly, how the world now presents itself to Sun.

Sun is blessed to have built two of the best known brands on the internet. The Java brand, and OpenOffice (and its cousin, StarOffice).

Presumably, you saw the relationship we just announced with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), in which they’ll be distributing StarOffice for free as a part of their Google Pack offerings – to put this in context, we’re now distributing multiple millions of copies of OpenOffice every week (and that’s before you count mirror distribution sites). The combined volumes of StarOffice and OpenOffice generate a user and developer community now accelerating well past a hundred million users – across developing economies, developing companies, and across Windows, Solaris, Linux and the Mac OS. As a software product and a brand (all end user software is ultimately both, after all), growing distribution drives opportunity and awareness for everyone involved – for the OpenOffice/StarOffice user and developer community, and as its shepherd on the network, for Sun.

Wherever OpenOffice and StarOffice travel, more users know and trust Sun – what’s that brand or awareness worth, especially among tomorrow’s decision makers? It’s hard to know exactly, but I’d bet more people know Sun via OpenOffice than know us through datatcenters. That’s an astonishing assertion, but with the internet now reaching billions of end users, the number of consumers on the internet dwarfs the number of IT professionals. The numbers are staggering.

But with that said, compared to the Java platform, office productivity is relatively esoteric stuff.

Because Java touches nearly everyone – everyone – who touches the internet. Hundreds of millions of users see Java, and its ubiquitous logo, every day. On PC’s, mobile phones, game consoles – you name it, wherever the network travels, the odds are good Java’s powering a portion of the experience.

What’s that distribution and awareness worth to us? It’s hard to say – brands, like employees, aren’t expenses, they’re investments. Measuring their value is more art than science. But there’s no doubt in my mind more people know Java than Sun Microsystems. There’s similarly no doubt they know Java more than nearly any other brand on the internet.

I know that sounds audacious, but wherever I travel in the world, I’m reminded of just how broad the opportunity has become, and how pervasively the technology and brand have been deployed. Java truly is everywhere.

Ask a teenager if they know Java, and they’ll point to their favorite mobile applications, the video uploader for their social network, or their game console. As for working professionals, I had dinner with a financial analyst a few months ago who said he saw the Java launch experience “a few times a day” when accessing intranet applications – as did tens of thousands of his fellow employees. Daily. Global companies like Google and eBay (and Vodafone and Citigroup) are built on Java, every major PC manufacturer bundles Java upon shipment, as does every mobile phone manufacturer, and tens of millions of developers touch it every day in the world’s IT shops. Students learn it to get college credits for computer science, and there are more Java courses on university campuses than we ever imagined. Wherever it goes, Java brings limitless opportunity – to Sun, and to our partners that develop, use or deploy it.

So what’s that awareness worth? Ask the question a different way – if we wanted to buy that exposure, to touch tens if not hundreds of millions of consumers every single day of the year, across nearly every continent, industry, geography and demographic – what would it cost us? (If you’re in the industry, just do the CPM calculus – the Java launch experience is one of the most pervasively viewed exposures on earth.)

As I said, the number of people who know Java swamps the number of people who know Sun. Or SUNW, the symbol under which Sun Microsystems, Inc. equity is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. SUNW certainly has some nostalgic value – it stands for “Stanford University Network Workstation,” and heralds back to Sun’s cherished roots (in academia). Granted, lots of folks on Wall Street know SUNW, given its status as among the most highly traded stocks in the world (the SUNW symbol shows up daily in the listings of most highly traded securities).

But SUNW represents the past, and its not without a nostalgic nod that we’ve decided to look ahead.

JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that’s inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). And so next week, we’re going to embrace that reality by changing our trading symbol, from SUNW to JAVA. This is a big change for us, capitalizing on the extraordinary affinity our teams have invested to build, introducing Sun to new investors, developers and consumers. Most know Java, few know Sun – we can bring the two one step closer.

To be very clear, this isn’t about changing the company name or focus – we are Sun, we are a systems company, and we will always be a derivative of the students that created us, Stanford University Network is here to stay. But we are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category – and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol. Java means limitless opportunity – for our software, systems, storage, service and microelectronics businesses. And for the open source communities we shepherd. What a perfect ticker.

And if you wondered why we picked eight strokes for the Java logo, now you know one reason…


Filed under General

364 responses to “The Rise of JAVA – The Retirement of SUNW

  1. Call me nostalgic. Call me old-fashioned. Call me unable to understand and cope with modern marketing. But I do not like it.
    In the minds of many people, Java == slow. With all the recent rebranding, the first thing we always have to do is to convince the customer that no, the desktop window manager is not written in Java, the directory server, etc. etc. is not interpreted and slow.
    What is wrong with keeping up good traditions? Will I soon have JAVAcsr installed on my Solaris system? Sigh….

  2. Will the prefix for Solaris OS package components remain "SUNW"? It wouldn’t make much sense for them to change.

  3. Numpty

    What a TERRIBLE idea! When we used "Java" in the name of all our software products a few years ago, customers were confused and frankly just laughed at us– Java Desktop System was the prime offender, as it mostly uses no Java technology whatsoever. We’re still licking our wounds and only just beginning to change the name of JDS now in OpenSolaris. So why use it for a company where most of the staff and products aren’t Java-related either?

  4. Jonathan,
    I believe that you know, what you are doing. What are the costs of changing SUNW to JAVA?

  5. J. Dabney

    As a Sun investor I see this as a horrible idea. Not many people know that what the W in SUN stands for, and it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is JAVA is more of a limiting factor than this illusion of infinite possibilities, Java is only a single platform and not representative of all of your wonderful products. SUNW allows for more possibles instead of being known as only the Java company. This is a sad day. šŸ˜¦

  6. SW

    What a waste of money. How do all the people you’re laying off soon feel about this? How many of their jobs could you have saved, how much security to worried families, with the money this must be costing Sun in admin fees?


    Stupid move. I am a Java programmer, and I don’t see the point of this PR stunt. What? It’s to impress those stupid financial analysts? OK, never mind.

  8. This is almost as good as that time SGI decided to come up with that great ‘sgi’ logo – branding madness at it’s finest.
    Of the few people who do know about Java who are not techies, Java means slow. Painfully slow. And badly written. Assuming they know which Java they have – what’s today’s version, and what’s it called? ME, JRE, JSE?
    Is that really the sort of thing Sun wants to be promoting? Who thinks up this stuff?

  9. Kevin

    From your Wikipedia link: "Cantonese speaking people like the number two because it sounds the same as the word "easy" (易) in Cantonese." – hence the number 28 is popular meaning "Easy Fortune". I hope the twins Solaris and Java can together deliver you an easy fortune. PS Nice job on releasing JRuby 1.0 this year – good move. PPS The ticker symbol "RUBY" is also free.

  10. Steve Collins

    Once again Sun demonstrates their lack of platform neutrality. How is it that Sun can always gush on endlessly about the next big thing and yet miss out on the major changes in IT? Dell once again is eating Sun’s lunch and why… because Sun missed the boat on Intel quad core. Once again Sun misses the biggest trend in IT. Perhaps not the most interesting or technically unique trend but the one that involves the biggest volume and most money. Unless you’re talking about excuses or grand plans, Sun’s a day late and a dollar short. This is year 7 or 8 of Sun’s big return to relevancy and we’re all still waiting.

  11. Justin Cook

    Jonathan, this is one more indication the board needs to look for someone with REAL ideas to lead a once great company. You’re all driving wonderful technology innovative and real engineers designed in the ground. You’re just a marketing weenie.

  12. Kevin

    I just upgraded to Java 6.0.2 on my Mozilla Firefox, but the default pop-up blocker stopped the download. Luckily I’m an web-savvy so knew what to do. Did your site say "A pop-up blocker appears to be stopping your download – do this…" – no it didn’t. So you’re losing thousands of potential downloads by regular web users every day because nobody did rigorous web site usability testing. Does that sound familiar? PLEASE invest in web usability to improve the online experience you provide in EVERY aspect of your business. Please?

  13. Kevin

    Please forget my hasty post about web usability – I didn’t read all your instructions at Sorry.

  14. Concerned

    This strikes me as silly. I had hoped it was some kind of joke, but I looked at the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. The name of the company is Sun, and it makes a wide variety of products. Java is one of them, and it’s an important one. But why pick just one and make it the ticker name? It doesn’t make sense. Another commenter already pointed out the previous attempts at branding ("Java Desktop System") which didn’t make sense either.
    Please tell me it’s a joke?

  15. marketoids are ruling sun…

  16. Javaphile

    I understand the value, as you see it, of changing the ticker symbol. I don’t understand why you cannot rename company from Sun to Java? All the reasons you have given for ticker symbol, are valid for the company name as well.

  17. Josh

    Sun once again fails to grasp the big picture. While ‘Java’ may be better known by the public than ‘Sun Microsystems’, the perception of Java by the public isn’t good, so why associate the entire company with it? Synonyms for Java are ‘Big’, ‘Fat’, ‘Bloated’, and ‘Slow’. Are those the terms you want to characterize your company? Actually, as a former employee, I’d say those are actually pretty accurate. Nevermind, sounds like a great idea!

  18. Final nail in JCP’s coffin?

  19. Fermin Avila

    Just imagine Apple Computer using LISA as symbol. Bad idea.

  20. wtf

    This is the most laughable thing I’ve heard come out of Sun since the stock tanked six years ago. What a complete and utter waste of time. It’s a shame the marketing robots at Sun move forward with pointless endeavors such as this instead of fixing the mountain of serious and important marketing problems that have plagued Sun since its inception. This just confirms my hunch that Sun is going to go the way of DEC and shrivel up and die due to being unable to keep up with the times. Java is a slow bloated ancient system that if you were to actually look at Internet search statistics; you would see the interest is much lower than the other languages available. Maybe instead of drinking and sharing kool-aid you would do well to create a new drink that doesn’t completely suck.

  21. Geoffrey Kwan

    It’s all about marketing finally… the marketing value of 1 single product/line (JAVA) overwhelming the total (marketing) value of the whole big legendary company. It may be a good news for those IT newbie (but heard of Java from time to time), but it also imply the company rely too heavily on 1 single product to generate growth (& profit), & most importantly, this product is still not yet perfect (powerful but slow…zZZ).

  22. Steven Scherbinski

    As a small Sun stockholder, I think the reasoning is weak and not a good branding move. As a Sun customer, your penchant for naming everything java is confusing. I agree with a lot of others that the money could be much better spent.

  23. David Lee Todd

    Smart move. LUV=Southwest Airlines, BUD=Anheuser-Busch. We’re in good company.

  24. Alfonso Curiel

    Your engineers won’t like it. Any sensible Techie won’t like it.
    But sensible techies and sun engineers don’t trade on Wall Street enough to make you care. All the dumb morons who are awed by the ubiquitousness of the Java brand, trade on Wall street. And you think its going to make a difference.
    You are just a marketing weenie. But I think you are right.

  25. Glenn Heagerty

    Terrible, terrible news. I’m still waiting on the next Sun UltraSPARC Workstation and all I get is a change in stock symbol.

  26. Patrick Wright

    Dude. Wonderful. I love the energy you are bringing to Sun. This move is geeky and bold. Way cool. Keep it up. I’d say something more cogent but this is such a cool move that I’m sort of speechless right now. Cheers!

  27. knpandya

    I am a big fan of your ideas, but this one, I think you are limiting your company’s potential to JAVA. What happens tomorrow when the Forte takes off? Will you change the company symbol to FOR or something?
    Some things are worth keeping for..

  28. Mike

    How about laying off the useless marketing and hire
    some engineers? It is a waste of money to do something that
    will hurt the company. Are you assuming that Java will live
    forever? This is short-sighted.

  29. james

    pathetic. don’t you have better things to spend your time on?

  30. Homer

    I think Steve Collins missed the boat in his post below. Dell is in a world of hurt while Sun stole significant market share from them. Emerging from nowhere only a couple years ago, Sun is now in a #3 spot tie with Dell for server revenue.
    Although I’m reminded of the rebranding exercise that Silicon Graphics went through renaming everything to SGI along with their multi-colorful oversized business cards, SGI was a rudderless ship destined for bankruptcy. Sun is much stronger with much smarter management.
    Call it SUNW or JAVA… In the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter all that much.

  31. scott

    I am a huge fan of Sun. I have used Java since it was invented. I want you to succeed. But this is the worst idea I have ever heard of. Worst ever! Johnathan, you must be drinking your own kool-aid. Sun is a systems company with storage, chips, servers, operating systems, VMs, middle-ware,applications, services, etc. Java is only a small part of it. The ticker symbol represents the whole company. If it is not aligned with the name of the company, confusion will result. Changing SUNW to JAVA is a distraction, a waste of time and money when there are much bigger fish to fry, and will ultimately cause brand confusion – not clarity. Eat some crow and reverse this decision.

  32. Anantha

    This must be from the same marketing geniuses that recommended PwC change their name to Monday Consulting (I’m told the same one came up with Orange for the mobile carrier) Thankfully for us Monday was swallowed by IBM soon after and that was the last we heard of it (I hear the PwC partner that led this change of brand name was looking for a job soon after the change was announced and everybody started throwing up in the hallways) Way back in the mid-90s Oracle considering changing just their logo and after many thousands of $$s were spent they punted (good on them.) You’ve to build your company on your past, you ignoring the past by stomping on the SUNW will not enhance the value of the stock. Sorry this isn’t the late 90’s when adding a .com to your company name meant a 10% boost in market value. I’m a Sun bigot but Java doesn’t cut it, sorry.

  33. Department of Renaming Things

    Maybe a better ticker symbol would be LOON?

  34. waltervh

    I can’t believe you did this. I just barely started to believe you guys "got" Linux and commodity hardware.
    Java is only shrinking in web popularity, and to do anything to alienate yourselves from the web is really unspeakable.
    Jonathan, don’t be as out of touch as your predecessor.

  35. huh?

    Is today April 1st? The earlier attempts to rename every product with "Java" in front of it ("Java Desktop System", "Java Web Server", etc) were NOT well received and only resulted in confusion and ridicule, I fear that this will be the same. Java is a great brand, but it does not trump the greater brand – Sun itself. This is lame, lame, lame.

  36. Sai

    Nowadays SUNW is coming out of Mcnealy’s mistake of not moving to x86 long back… but again this kind of news, Hurts SUN fans like me.
    What else i can say..except Wish you(JAVA) all the best – Which is trying to leverage psychological JAVA advantage of Human thinking.

  37. Anonymous Sun Employee

    I agree with scott’s post above. I work at Sun and have seen the reaction of several Sun employees. Nobody feels that JAVA represents what we do and the services and products that we offer better than SUNW. Sun has been around for a decades and SUNW ties back to the historical beginnings of the company and closely matches the company name. Java is an excellent programming language, run time, "enabler", etc., but please let Sun stay SUNW. The other posts along the lines of "Sun is now run by marketing drones" echo another sentiment this change is bringing about. I hope this decision can be reversed.

  38. rchrd

    Gee, I would have preferred FORTRAN

  39. This move ranks right up there with Hewlett Packard changing to HP and SGI changing the cube logo to sgi… other words New Coke Fiasco!
    You want to shake off Sun’s tired marketing message – try introducing new class of products besides servers, storage and switches.

  40. I think it is a good idea.. It was a horse race between us and Starbucks. Looks like Sun won.
    I wonder if the trend is going to be Apple is going to be MAC or more likely IPOD? Microsoft will be BUGS (oops).

  41. Kyle

    Most of these comments are missing the point. What is being announced here is not about changing what the company does or who they are. It is about changing the ticker symbol that the stock trades under. That’s it. Sun has strong brand awareness in Java. Why not leverage the brand in as many places as possible. I like it!

  42. Anonymous

    "But we are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category – and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol. " is the money quote … and the one that points out the utter stupidity of this move the best.
    If Sun’s products cannot be limited by one category, they WHY ON EARTH is Sun using a ONE CATEGORY ticker symbol to define itself in the financial market? Why NARROW the scope to Java?? We’re the dot in … no, wait … We’re Eco … oops, I mean … We’re all about web 2.0 … umm … " Sun has ADHD at the highest levels, and the monkeys have taken over the zoo.
    No wonder stock price stays at sub-$5 forever, the market knows that until this company is run by some guiding principle other than a wet finger in the wind, it’s going nowhere, fast.

  43. Kyle

    Most of these comments are missing the point. What is being announced here is not about changing what the company does or who they are. It is about changing the ticker symbol that the stock trades under. That’s it. Sun has strong brand awareness in Java. Why not leverage the brand in as many places as possible. I like it!

  44. Alan Monday

    Jon, you can’t be serious. I had to look at the calendar
    to make sure it’s not April 1.
    There is so much more to Sun than Java. You are about to
    damage even more, our already fragile confidence.
    This simply makes no sense.

  45. Andrew

    Great, that’s just what me need. Not content with labelling products that have nothing to do with Java with that tag (Java Desktop System anyone?), they’ve now gone and changed their stock ticker so it is equally nonsensical. Can we expect Solaris packages to change to using JAVA prefixes as well? Now that really would be confusing!
    Also, what have all of the big Sun adverts on etc been about? Are Sun suddly going to rebrand everything with Java? Is Sun going to change its name to Java? Now that really would be madness!

  46. Joe Buck

    I’ve used Sun products since the 1980s. This move disappoints me.
    Sun is more than just Java, and Java is less important than you appear to believe that it is. This move is not going to help the company, and raises concerns about the judgment of management. I was happy to see you replace Scott McNealy, because McNealy was prone to making completely ridiculous speeches, and he was never more ridiculous than when he advocated Java to the exclusion of everything else.

  47. Chris D.

    Oh… my… god… As a longtime Jonathan Schwartz fan this is unbelievable to me. Java ????? Java has none of the engineering, stability and elegance creds Sun as a company has. For me Sun stands for creativity, ingenuity and engineering excellence way, way, way beyond Java !! Java is just a tiny piece of that. Sun is Andy Bechtolsheim and his unique designs, Sun is Solaris, Sun is things like Dtrace and zfs. Is also Jonathan Schwartz and his ability to cut through tech jargon and clarify strategy. And yes, Sun is also Java, but to be honest Java compared to your other technologies has kind of a bad name. I feel you are totally underselling Sun. I don’t agree with this move AT ALL. Having said that, its just the stock ticker, though, so if you wanted to boost Java and double up on a bet going nowhere, go ahead, I guess…

  48. nobody

    I don’t care as long as you keep pumping that R&D into open chips and open code. Java deserves a party, but don’t forget to come back and focus on all these technologies. Because you’re not the dot in dotcom, you’re the first and best open systems company who’s just starting to take the wraps off some of the most interesting technology this industry has ever seen. We’re waiting and drooling to see what you’re cooking in the labs for us and every code scrap you toss our way only makes us hungry for more. We want an intellectual property and patent commons so everyone in the industry can participate in their own way, and you’re obviously working to build it for us. Its so close now I can almost taste it.. Would that be fun and interesting to watch it bloom knowing how big a part of it you are and can be? All we need is a little encouragement.. maybe some intros to get us started with the wikis you have placed around these various technologies and video tutorials targeting us geeks? We can take it! šŸ™‚

  49. Why not "OPEN"? — ya know, other then that acquisition thingie…

  50. Wes

    April Fools!
    Oh wait. It’s not a joke.
    Generalize. Don’t specialize. Or are you guys saying that all Sun is anymore is a Java SDK manufacturer? Sigh…

  51. Interesting direction. From an investor’s perspective, I don’t think it matters. I’ll look up your symbol using your company name (Sun) and whatever I’m using will present SUNW or JAVA. Simple. Who cares. But, I think you’re heading down a path that’s unwise from a marketing perspective.
    Java is not the consumer brand darling your legions of marketing employees, consultants and agencies have probably suggested. It’s a great technology, and one I use in all my businesses, but it’s not consumer oriented. That may have once been a dream when Naughton and Gosling created it – but Macromedia, then Adobe, were far quicker to realize the value designers could bring and that simply having a flexible programming language wasn’t enough. For most web-based applications, Java lost it to Flash years ago, and that’s ground that’s likely impossible to recover. Microsoft’s Silverlight even has a better chance than Sun trying to recapture the embedded object space.
    I love Java – but don’t get drunk thinking it’s some magic marketing elixir. Most people will have zero clue of its value – whether it’s driving most big traffic sites or x% of the worlds mobile devices. Plus – one or a few bad events in Indonesia could spoil your marketing value.

  52. Please tell me this is an April Fool’s joke that’s several months late.
    Your company’s name is Sun, not JAVA. When I see the stock ticker JAVA, I’m going to think of some coffee company, not Sun Microsystems.
    While I like everything else you’ve done, I’m going to say that my gut reaction as a technical person is less than positive.

  53. andre

    Beautiful move – no other IT company have a so good name to apply. The Java brand have a great international appeal, and this is the stock name, not company name. This is all about technology as a service, and shows the company confidence on the Internet and the future of the internetworking. If 10+ years ahead some other technology have changed the face of the world a new brand will be welcome.

  54. esutanto

    Is this serious?
    I’m the president of Indonesia šŸ™‚
    and I demand that Sun pays royalty to me… err.. Indonesian people for using our most populous island name for its products, and now stock symbol

  55. Milan Jurik

    Uffff, I hope this was our past. And it is back šŸ˜¦ After JDS (hopefully Gnome soon) and JES (Sun One was nice) and Java Workstation (never more), we will have Java back everywhere again. Destroying Java brand by using in unrelated things. I hope you are not author of this idea, because your other ideas are very good typically. This one not.

  56. Sai

    What happens to Sun Solaris?? is it going to be Java Solaris???
    By any chance – History added one more fool day
    What about the Pride of Working for Sun Microsystems – for me no more

  57. Mike

    Sun has some of the worst marketing and this is just icing
    on the cake. Did anyone really consult before making this
    decision? This isn’t Hollywood where bad publicity is
    publicity. Even the reasoning is silly.

  58. Long Term Investor -- NO MORE

    This is a terrible, terrible move.
    Java is what’s /wrong/ with Sun. Not its future.
    Yes, Java is KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD — AS A SLOW, DUMB IDEA from the go-go 90’s!
    Sun’s best assets are Solaris, the UltraSPARC T1, and its superb hardware designs. Except for Solaris itself, which is the best server OS ever, by miles, all Sun software SUCKS and always has and always will.
    Java is a virus slowly killing the company from within.
    I’m selling my stock — tens of thousands of shares. Until this move, I thought you were doing alright, My Little Pony. You just blew it.

  59. Sean Dillman

    I wonder if this will stand the test of time? If 20 yrs ago, we’d chosen to do the same with our biggest brand at the time (e.g. SPARC), would that be representative of all we do today? Who can say what the next 20 yrs will bring?

  60. Dilbert

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, Jonathan, but this one deserves a response.
    This is quite possibly the silliest move Sun has ever made. As a stockholder I’m appalled that Sun would waste time and money to do this. I can understand putting the nightmare decline of SUNW behind you, but nobody will be fooled. The market judges you on your products, vision and performance not on your stock ticker symbol. This is a move right out of the Dilbert school of management.
    Far better to drop "Microsystems" from the name as Apple did with "Computer". That I could understand.

  61. Patrizia

    Very nice: new trade name but still same low value of shares! I have been waiting for already 5 years that the stock price reach a value of 14 US – as I bought them when I was employed at Sun.
    I feel betrayed that Sun takes good money of little employees income for shares, but is not able to give even the same price back.
    Well done, Jonathan!

  62. Serge

    JAVA symbol will bring luck for Sun.
    Good luck Sun!

  63. Jonathan, way to go!!! Since you spoke to the interns in Menlo Park, I haven’t been able to get this exciting news out of my head!!!

  64. Tomas

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see how JAVA describes Sun better than SUNW. But then again, I’m not a marketing person nor a teenager whose interests ends with their mobile phone.

  65. John

    First off, It’s just a ticker people! It’s not like the strategic direction of the company has been changed with one fell swoop. If you like Sun and it’s products, etc. buy the stock. Who cares what the symbol is? And if it adds increases brand name recognition to smaller investors who only see the Java logo on their PC, great!

  66. Terrence

    For sure this must be an April-Fools joke, right? Leveraging a brand, sure, I’m all for it. Recycling and diluting a brand name until people are sick of it and it’s become meaningless? I have a hard time seeing how that is supposed to be brilliant.

  67. Dan McDonald

    While I agree that the Java Desktop System (JDS) branding created confusion, I think renaming a ticker symbol is different. For Sun to succeed, Java must succeed. Java is Sun’s single most differentiaing product.

  68. Hering Cheng

    With all due respect to Jonathan’s decision and understanding of where he is coming from, I feel that it is unfortunate that Sun has decided to bet its farm on Java. Being an active Java developer and an avid user of Solaris (and owner of a few SUNW shares), I’d say that the greatest software asset that Sun has is Solaris. Java as a platform, in my view, has a shorter lifespan than Solaris. I would not be surprised if, in a few years, Java will be totally eclipsed by other technologies. The only redeeming value of Java in the long run may be its JVM. The reason why I feel that Solaris has a brighter future is because it is a solid (and dare I say, the best) implementation of the UNIX model. This model, after more than 30 years, is still the best for opearting systems, despite innovations in micro-kernel, object-orientation and other areas of OS research.
    I have not even touched upon the great innovations that Sun has been doing in the hardware arena in the last few years. Its change of focus on Java, in my view, is an unfortunate insult to the great engineers at Sun who are not actively working on Java.

  69. That’s just completely bizarre; I assume the clever chaps to decided to throw the prefix "Java" in front of all of your software product names (even those that had nothing to do with Java) five years ago are still around somewhere then.
    Strikes me as completely the wrong message, and I’m not looking forward to all of the Solaris packages being named JAVAcsu which will be ridiculous.
    Very confused.

  70. TomC

    Is this a sign that JS wants a Software only company? (Java/Solaris/Office…..) And maybe looking to split off the ‘MicroSystems’/hardware element?

  71. Krishna

    What a waste of time. What if Java loses some of its brand value at some point in the future. Does that mean the death of Sun Microsystems ? I can only think of changing our stock symbol over the years from SUNW to NFS to SRAY (sunray) to N1GE…. With the amount of work left to be done to get Sun being consistently profitable, is this really important to do ?

  72. Adam

    I think a lot of people are failing to see the bigger picture in this. Personally, I don’t believe renaming the ticker to Java is going to change the company alone, but I get it and think its a step in the right direction. I believe what the company needs is "brand awareness". We have always sold to "the system admins" and we all know we sell a quality product. The problem we run into is that there are two people in the purchasing game, the Business Man who makes the final decision for their company, and the System Admin/Engineers which they rely on to guide them. The problem comes down to the Sys Admin saying "OK Mr. Business Man… here are your options… HP, IBM, and Sun Microsystems, Sun is my favorite they are best option when we compare all three" then the Business Man replies, "Hmmm… I haven’t really heard of Sun, but I have had this HP laptop I use daily and I love it." So in the end after an argument the business man with the ultimate power gets to make the decision, which unfortunately doesn’t mean the smarter decision always gets picked. Bravo, Jonathan… I think this is a decision that puts Sun in the right direction, appealing to the little people who walk by us everyday without knowing who we are is what will win this battle in the end. You never know who the next Joe Schmoe who makes a small website like You Tube is going to be, and we would like to think that he knows who we are before he does his research on who to buy.

  73. Bryan

    Why not make the ticker symbol "OPEN." This captures the philosophy of the company more than listing a product name. Just a thought from a fellow marketing weenie.

  74. agyat

    Silliest thing I’ve heard. Coming from you, Jonathan, the change from SUNW to JAVA demonstrates a remarkable lack of vision and focus on the products of your company.
    JAVA is just one of the products Sun makes, not the be all-end all of Sun’s existence.
    MSFT not WNDW. AAPL not MAAC/IPOD/IPHN. RHAT not RHEL. And besides, when
    Java itself has not really made Sun any significant money, pray tell exactly how
    changing your company’s stock ticker (which is just a NAME) going to make the
    big bucks come rolling in? Sounds too suspiciously like you were acting on the
    advice of tea leaf readers or Chinese psychics. What’s next? You’ll employ feng
    shui experts to improve the chi of your offices?
    I think this is truly the beginning of the end for Sun. Last nail in the coffin.

  75. Micah

    I’m curious about what sort of research was done that supports the move of changing the ticker symbol.
    As an employee and stock-holder, I question the use of any amount of resources for this change. In the face of layoffs, any amount of money spent on the research and promotion of such a change appears wasteful. While I do not hold any sort of degree in marketing or business, I find it hard to believe that potential investors (or customers for that matter) will be swayed in our direction because our ticker is now JAVA.
    Please provide us with the research that shows this change and the resourced devoted to the change will drastically impact our market share/stock price.

  76. Seriously, you people are this worked up about a ticker symbol? CHILL OUT! It’s just a ticker symbol!
    And to all of you folks remembering the Good ol Days of Sun and demanding to keep SUNW, welcome to the real world! Sun is is a world of hurt and this is the last of your worries. Stop reading/commenting on this blog and continue working on Rock…we’ve been waiting a while now.

  77. Partha

    Java is just one among SUNs’ many achievements, Java is NOT SUN. I am still wondering why you came up with such an idea. I really used to appreciate all that you did for sun. I guess i dont anymore.
    Again. Sun is much much more than just JAVA.

  78. Frank

    Most people do not seem to understand the long term effects of this renaming. Kids in school and colleges today are the consumers, and stock movers of tomorrow. Making this move now ensures that 5-10 years from now, JAVA brand will propel the company. Kids today understand JAVA better than SUNW. This is ofcourse making a bet that Java will be popular 5-10 years from now, but that is a risk Sun has to take.
    This will have zero impact next term, but a huge impact to the long term growth of Sun. Bravo, Jonathan!

  79. Albert

    Change fo logo? Will there be a change in productivity?
    Hope the process will not waste the valueable time SUN should use to think of more valuable thing!Because to me its highly uneccessary.

  80. Kungsukul

    Ok so the ticker symbol change may be a somewhat cynical marketing ploy but all the boneheaded doomsayers bleating on about how terrible this is are just as laughable. What does it matter? It’s *only* the ticker – which is largely electronic apart from its appearance in docs that get updated and reprinted anyway. Of course, it’s always been the prerogative of the fool to point out that the emperor has no clothes…but the emperor is still an emperor and the fool is still a fool.

  81. Steve Collins

    Regarding Homer’s comments about Dell: Dell is in a world of hurt only buy only by Dell’s standards. To compare Dell to Sun is to compare Hyperion to a satyr. For all Sun’s blathering about intellectual property and R&D ad nauseum here an example of the only scorecard that matters:
    Profit in Dell’s fiscal 2006: $3.6B (that’s ‘B’ for ‘billion’)
    Sun’s fiscal 2006: ($0.8B) (the parentheses represent negative profit or loss)
    So 5 years(!) after the bubble popped and compared to the company Sun loves to jab with the "commodity" tag which firm is in a world of hurt? It ain’t Dell. Dell’s a profitable growing company and Sun remains a breakeven (at best), water-treading, social experiment. So for Sun to suggest (as they do at every opportunity) that their R&D is going to save them is utterly preposterous. Dell has crushed them every year for 5 on the trot. Sun’s shareholders (of which I am one) need to be saved from Sun’s R&D. Dell proves Sun wrong over any time interval. Again, Dell proves Sun wrong over any time interval. It’s time Sun admits that trying to lead the market has been a failed strategy. Otherwise, they’ll join the long list of other distinguished products/companies that were ahead of their time: Edsel, Osborne, Betamax, New Coke, etc. Prudent R&D is vitally critical. What Sun has done is inexcusable.

    As a somewhat new Sun SE who left IBM for a more ethical & innovative company, I think this is a brilliant strategic move for Sun.
    Why? Well, when people ask me where I work I reply "Sun Microsystems."
    To my disappointment, I most always get a puzzled look returned while being asked, "What do they do?" I always respond with "Well, one thing they’ve done as a computer company is that they invented Java; do you know what that is?"
    They ALWAYS say yes, they know of Java! If I get a detailed answer in return, it is usually (1) Java is a computer thing (from my mother) or (2) Java runs on my computer sometimes (from my sister) or (3) Java is a web language (from the Cub Scout next door.)
    ~*~ JAVA ~*~ Sun’s best brand asset! Upon reflection, I’d like to see us move to rename the company SunJava or even just Java eventually!
    Consider this from a potential customer’s perspective: If you were to Google or Yahoo search for SunJava…the result return set will be a lot more specific than what is now returned by Keywords "Sun" or "Java".
    JAVA will never be seen to be unsophisticated & juvenile like the Ticker Symbol: BUD. The Anheiser-Busch slam someone made earlier is totally unwarranted. "Sun" and "Java" as audible words have always made me feel a bit "Saturday morning happy."
    NAMES ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO CUSTOMER FIRST IMPRESSIONS. Example: I always thought that the name "Starbucks" had a great first syllable "Star" but a pretentious last syllable "bucks". Combined with the green corporate color of their signs (and the price of their coffee)…they even sounded greedy! When I first heard of Starbucks…I thought it was a joke name (where I didn’t get the joke!). Being my usual sleepy-self in the morning–a friend’s request "Go to Starbucks with me" always leaved me feeling like I should be vigilant before someone picks my pocket waiting in the Starbucks line.
    SunJava ! Both words suggest brightness, happiness, & comfort (e.g. no anxiety).
    Don’t worry, be happy! JAVA & Sun brands together are headed for prominance with the general population! A good thing.
    – Skip Bogard

  83. julie

    This is a terrible idea. Why would anyone want to change a perfectly respectable ticker to the name of a programming language? What happens when a new language usurps Java? You’re left with an outdated irrelevant moniker. I don’t get it.

  84. teehee

    I love javascript!

  85. A Sun Shareholder

    What a stupid idea. Give away software is NOT an asset. Java is NOT Sun.
    Schwartz needs to go work for a startup somewhere instead.

  86. julie

    I don’t get it. Why would anyone want to change a perfectly respectable and easy to remember ticker to the name of a programming language? What happens when a new language usurps Java? You’re left with an outdated irrelevant moniker. How ridiculous it would be if MSFT is changed to OFFC or IBM to LTUS.
    Hey, it’s okay if grandma has never heard of Sun. Only a small subset of the population need access to the high end server market. If you wanted to be known by the public then start making $400 hardware that sells at Walmart.

  87. phil

    enjoy seeing the way SUNW, oops JAVA is going. What i’m really waiting on though is the INTELW (intel workstations) promised in January. Until then the wait is more entertaining as this latest news has turned your blog into what looks like a slashdot flamewar.
    I think alot of the techies have confidence in your decisions, keep up the good work.

  88. Robert

    What an absolutely terrible idea. I wonder if Schwartz is bothering to read any of these comments? What a waste of company money to change the ticker symbol. Sun does a heck of a lot more than JAVA. Whoever convinced Schwartz of this change ought to be fired. The street is laughing at him.

  89. Dhiraj Soni

    JAVA signifies a strong move to software focus. I believe Java technology is used even where SUN machines are not used. While SUN offers more than software, i think Jonathan’s approach is the right one. Now,can we make quantum leaps in JAVA please. JAVA FX is a very good start, but trying to run it on any browser leaves you clueless as to where to download the JRE from.
    I’ve used JAVA from 1.0 and like the language its capablities from start. Actually i prefer Java to C#. Don’t think JAVA=SLOW at all, you just have to code right šŸ™‚
    Making Software more user friendly should be the focus along with technology savvy.
    – Dhiraj Soni.

  90. Phil

    GREAT NEWS ABOUT THE GOOGLE TIE IN! shame all the focus is on the stock ticker =(

  91. Anonymous

    Horrible idea. Changing the symbol to an individual product within a company attempting to reach ever larger customer bases with a wide range of products makes absolutely no sense at all!

  92. I fail to see the brilliance in this move, but I also fail to see how changing the ticker symbol is a travesty as many other posters have said. It is just a ticker symbol after all. I’m willing to believe that this is a well-researched plan, and that I just haven’t seen the light yet. But, ***PLEASE***, for the love of all things holy, don’t replace SUNW with JAVA in the software package names! The previous abuses of the Java brand were bad enough. I think I’ll cry if I have to run /opt/JAVAspro/bin/cc!

  93. The "eight strokes for the Java logo" that’s a good idea.
    "fortune", "prosper" or "wealth"

  94. smathew

    WTF. Thats the silliest, stupidest idea to come out of Sun’s marketing department since the Java Desktop System. And what a long-winded, weak explanation for the proposal. JDS successfully confused and diluted the Java brand and this continues in the same vein. I thought Sun would have learnt its lesson from that debacle. This is an utter waste of time and money. Your blog attracts readers when it reflects the thoughts of Sun’s best and brightest distilled into a form that promotes the essence of Sun’s brand which is visionary technology leadership. Instead you are turning this into a medium for PR stunts. Please listen to this audience or youre going to turn people away from this blog and from taking your thoughts seriously.
    I have to echo the sentiments that Java is only one of Sun’s creations. One can argue which one is the most valuable but none is bigger than the company itself. I am not concerned with the risk of associating Sun with the negative connotations that (some) people have with Java. Maybe its because I am biased towards Java having worked on it and promoted it for many years. But having been in the industry for a few years I would be more concerned about the longevity of the Java platform. When things change as quickly as they do in this industry it seems foolish to tie yourself to a technology that could very well be overshadowed by another disruptive innovation. You could end-up looking dated instead of forward-looking.

  95. Darren

    When will Sun require the name of its CEO to be Duke?

  96. Derek

    Jonathan, I have so much respect for you as a great leader, but this is not a good move. Changing the name is a waste of money and I do not want to repeat the people who already commented on this. But I agree with EVERYONE who thinks this is a bad idea and will cause a lot of confusion. You may see the stock rise temporarily but investors are not fools you know. they will find out what this JAVA stock is.
    Do you know why the average Joe Shmoe does not know the SUN brand? It’s because SUN made a choice to ONLY be a systems company for businesses because they did not want to deal with low margin consumer markets. Why else do you think people know IBM or HP or Dell? A better idea is to create a market for the consumers so you can penetrate Sun into everyone’s living room. Create a Sun branded cell phone or a web service that consumers will use. You have billions of dollars and the one of the most intelligent employees working for you. And you can’t seem to figure out why people don’t know Sun? Think about it. A lot of small startups will only know and start at what local stores sell. And what do local stores sell? HP, Dell, IBM (though they recently sold to lenovo) and no name white box systems. Go for the best buys, tigerdirects, and believe me, Sun will be known. It may be low margin but it is building up your brand.
    You should really consider overhauling marketing at Sun because I think they tarnished Sun’s image. A company full of intelligent people, amazing technology, brought down by an incapable moronic marketing department. I am not amused.

  97. huh

    Wow. Reading all these comments brings home to me that there is a lot of angst focussed out there against Sun. Mostly current/past shareholders, I guess.

  98. Siddhartha Kasivajhula

    I think it’s not such a bad idea. It won’t make a difference to the investors who know their stuff, but it might attract others who are less-savvy. I think that’s the whole idea. But if Java does NOT persist into the IT world of tomorrow, we’ll have another outdated and confusing ticker on our hands.

  99. eric

    Based on all of the pathetically uniformed and fundamentally inaccurate comments about Java, Sun has a big marketing problem. Changing the stock symbol probably won’t change that. Seems like so many people have read one negative article about Java in 1996. I think they would be surprised at how ubiquitous Java is since it became a server side/back end technology.

  100. Sun's well wisher

    The SUNW tag was the perfect one… By tagging JAVA, you are truly limiting the company’s excellent product portfolio (whose subset is java). It denotes an extremely limited and lean representation of Sun’s global outreach…Agyat is right in pointing out that AAPL doesnt change to IPOD or MSFT doesn’t go WNDW (though they have every reason to do that, if they consider an even wider market reach). Tomorrow you may even think of dropping ‘micro systems’. In our minds, the Stanford university network workstation will always prevail…

  101. Tony

    Steve Collins keeps on going on about Dell’s numbers – the truth is he doesn’t know Dell’s numbers. They admitted they’ve been rigging the numbers for years and falsifying them. Meanwhile Sun gets recognized as one of the worlds most ethical companies. Even if its only a minor aberration I’d certainly rather work for Sun than Dell. its amazing how Sun’s competitors "get away with murder" (look at the millions IBM just paid in settlements with SEC "whilst admitting no wrong doing…" HP spy on their own board and get away with it). Scott and Jonathan have always built Sun on the back of good, solid ethical work and will build Sun steadily back to solid long term numbers on the back of this. The ticker symbol is just a single small positive step.

  102. BG

    What a waste of money!! How about trying to put your energy into growing revenues rather that this PR stunt. As a long time shareholder, i am appalled. Look at all the companies who were down during the bubble – the ones who survived have their revenues/stock prices go up except for SUNW which is languishing in terms of revenues/stock price for last 5 years. Yeah and some are even back to the pre-bubble stock price (like Ebay)
    Dumb Dumb Dumb idea

  103. Sun Fan

    I truly hope tomorrow we dont change the company name from SUN to something else that is less sensible and visionary …

  104. Based on the argument presented, the next logical step would be to rename the company Java. I doubt that will happen.
    I agree with one of the first commenters on this post that the brand java evokes images of slowness. Java was a great idea in theory, but in practice it hasn’t been that successful. The few applications that I use that are powered by Java I find to be unacceptably slow and often unwieldy relative to other apps that use flash, php and AJAX technologies. I say this as both as an ex-DBA sysadmin who administered java based systems and was very happy to replace them with PHP.
    That said, my company does one in-house system that is java based and it generally works pretty well and isn’t terribly slow – but it has a very modest user base.

  105. Scott Barlow

    Please reconsider. This has to be one of the stupidest ideas I’ve heard in a long time. I completely agree with the following comment:
    > Silliest thing I’ve heard. Coming from you, Jonathan, the change from SUNW to JAVA demonstrates a _remarkable_ lack of vision and focus on the products of your company. JAVA is just one of the products Sun makes, not the be all-end all of Sun’s existence. MSFT not WNDW (or CSRP). AAPL not MAAC/IPOD/IPHN. RHAT not RHEL.
    Sun is much more than just JAVA. You are setting the company up for one of the worst marketing blunders *after* the tech dive.
    > Dell is in a world of hurt while Sun stole significant market share from them. Emerging from nowhere only a couple years ago, Sun is now in a #3 spot tie with Dell for server revenue.
    WHAT!? Boy do you have your facts messed up. This comment is completely ridiculous. Sun is nowhere near Dell, nor in a tie. Please look up the symbol SMCI. There you will find the answer.
    It must be true that Sun’s demise is not soon a far.

  106. I can’t help thinking it might have been easier to incorporate "Sun" into the Java logo which appears on all those Java devices.
    I a little worried that the brand change could not only downgrade the Sun name but also dilute the Java brand.

  107. Paul D

    When I first heard this I was shocked and disappointed.
    Shocked because, as a Sun employee, I thought we deserved a heads-up before it was public (still waiting for an update on why that did not happen)
    Disappointed because I felt it was sending a message to lots of loyal Sun employees that "the hard work you have done to make Sun relevant in the marketplace has not been enough, and we need to change stock symbols so that people can find us"
    Having read the earlier comments, I now feel OK – the company is still Sun. How many people "discovered" Sun because its stock symbol was SunW = 0. How many MIGHT discover us because of the linkage with JAVA = >0. That’s enough for me. Don’t get the company’s name and reputation mixed up with the stock symbol – that’s a mistake I was making, and now I’m over it.


    Jonathan, are you stupid?
    Sorry, I had to ask. This is such an incredible dump move. You really want to piss of your loyalest customers? It is not these stupid teenager who barely can spell "cell phone" who buy Sun gear. It’s us. This change sends a clear message to us: Sun no longer cares about hardware. Sun is now about big, fat, bloated Java junk only. Ironically this is happening at a time when Sun is a the brink of royally fucking up Java with the new features for the upcoming Java 7 spec.
    Sun has moved from impressing with quality to impressing with marketing gunk. Excuse my while I started to check what HP has to offer.

  109. Darren

    Horrible. Stupid. Terrible. Appalling.
    Wretched. Miserable. Worthless. Dopey.
    How’s that for eight reasons…

  110. It seems that many people find the name change to be superficial. And at least one person says that Solaris (not Java) is Sun’s most important asset. I disagree on both counts.
    First, you have to consider the value chain. The lowest layers of computing (i.e. the hardware and the operating system) have become commoditized. Like it or not, there is too much competition out there for Sun to base its business on those things. You can’t maintain a competitive advantage by selling a commodity product. You have to focus higher up. I think every vendor (with the exception of Dell) has recognized this idea.
    Second, Java is an extremely well-known brand name around the world. People who don’t even have a computer know what it is. It runs on phones, embedded devices, even on Blu Ray DVDs. Its the most visible thing Sun owns.
    And third–as a previous poster said–its not us technology guys who need to know who Sun is. *We* already know. Its the purchasing agents, company execs, and stock traders (large and small) who need to know.
    So I think its a GOOD THING to change the stock symbol to something more recognizable. In a flat world (i.e. Thomas Friedman’s book), its smart to capitalize on what is uniquely yours.

  111. Vlad

    I’m a big fan of Sun. I liked the recent Solaris moves. But this renaming thing is another incredibly bad marketing idea, as many other people suggested above.
    It’s amazing how sharp the contrast is between the great engineering at Sun and the incredibly bad marketing. I’ve not known anyone to like all the renaming of products, including the famous laughable Java Desktop System that had nothing to do with Java.
    Not to mention many other uninspired product renaming moves throughout last years – I believe the middleware suite changed names
    at least 3 times.
    Shake-up those marketing guys and make them come up with a decent idea. If you want to make money out of Java figure out a way to sell app-servers, get service subscriptions or whatever, don’t rename the company ticker symbol, that’s plainly pathetic.

  112. Vlad

    ‘m a big fan of Sun. I liked the recent Solaris moves. But this renaming thing is another incredibly bad marketing idea, as many other people suggested above.
    It’s amazing how sharp the contrast is between the great engineering at Sun and the incredibly bad marketing. I’ve not known anyone to like all the renaming of products, including the famous laughable Java Desktop System that had nothing to do with Java.
    Not to mention many other uninspired product renaming moves throughout last years – I believe the middleware suite changed names at least 3 times.
    Shake-up those marketing guys and make them come up with a decent idea. If you want to make money out of Java figure out a way to sell app-servers, get service subscriptions or whatever, don’t rename the company ticker symbol, that’s plainly pathetic.

  113. Roger

    Sure looks like Sun Sigma is solving the big problems at Sun these days!
    Back where I’m from this is called ‘turd squishing’.

  114. Mr. Ponytail Man,
    This is silly. Please bring back SUNW.
    And please get back to work on better products and better value for both shareholders and customers.

  115. Poit

    This is a joke, right?

  116. marc

    The ticker symbol change is no big deal for someone like me who makes his living short selling stocks. I bought into Sun because of the good Q4 numbers, recent software agreement with IBM and positive analyst’s outlook. Most of the bloggers on this site are over analyzing and confusing the significance of the ticker symbol with the company name. I came to this site because I always investigate streaming news related to my current holdings.

  117. What I don’t understand is why change the ticker symbol and not the name? The ticker symbol is supposed to represent the company in the same way as a name is, only in a briefer way. The logical conclusion is that the name should also change.
    ("LUV" and "BUD" are exceptions, and I think at least "LUV" is probably extremely confusing to most people who don’t know Southwest’s history, and people who are familiar with the "SWA" airline code.)

  118. Anonymous

    Why name of the company was not changed to Java Systems?
    Now it is very confusing for the stock traders unless the
    company name is changed to Java Systems.

  119. JAVA-Tron (former SUNW-orker)

    Bad Idea!
    I changed my name two years ago from SUNW-orker and since that I lost my job.
    Take my case as example, Don’t do it.

  120. King 2766

    SU.. ahem JAVA – where the 1st of April is every week. This so retarded. Ponyboy you need to leave before the big SCO + JAVA merger turns from hellish nightmare into reality.
    SUN, once a great company, now a sad fart. And by the way with people like Skip Bogard as your pawns who needs adversaries?

  121. I worked at Sun 1986-1994. It was a wonderful experience, working with some of the best people in the world. Sure, we self-deluded ourselves that we were a pure software company at that time but, for the most part, people bought our stuff because it was fast and ran the best implementation of UNIX at the time (prior to the "merge" with System V, which we barely survived). It’s been heartbreaking to see the company become largely irrelevant. Thank God AVB is back, because the man’s a genius and is building great hardware, which he’s always done. That made me feel better about Sun’s prospects. But this? Just shoot me. Massed legions of marketing weenies (note how "weenies" is always paired with "marketing") must be firing up whatever you make them use instead of Powerpoint to explain how this is the second coming. If nothing else, they must be shaking in their boots in Redmond about this stunning move.

  122. JG

    I was shocked when I saw the announcement of this move. "Java" on a stock ticker seems like the symbol for a coffee company! Sun does not even completely own Java and it’s certainly not the only product Sun manufactures – what does this say about Sun’s hardware, for example? I join with other commenters asking how and by whom this decision was made, and how much it’s costing Sun. I’m betting that the jobs of many employees who are going to be laid off in a month or so could have been financed by the amount of money this unnecessary stunt has cost Sun.

  123. Alex

    Clearly, you executives at Sun have nothing else better than to do and nothing better to waste money on. May I suggest that you change the company name to Java? That’ll certainly waste a lot more time, money, and your employees’ valuable time.

  124. Talal Al-Tamimi

    Why is everyone making such a big deal about the ticker symbol. The company’s name isn’t changing. The product branding isn’t changing. It’s just the ticker symbol. The only time you look at the ticker symbol is when you buy or sell stock, or when you check your portfolio. I would say the ticker symbol is hardly a part of the company brand, except on Wall Street. Today it’s SUNW. Tomorrow it’s JAVA. In a few years it could be CORE or CHIP or UNIX or whatever. It doesn’t matter.
    However, the fact that the CEO is blogging about the new symbol does matter. To me, it signifies that a cultural shift is underway at Sun, one which places Java at the center. To be sure, Java is the most popular programming language in the world (check the TIOBE index for confirmation: Java is also arguably the most successful platform for server-side development. However, Java in the browser failed miserably against Flash, and more recently against AJAX. On the desktop, I would say Java is 50-50. I see more and more desktop applications written in Java, but the progress is slow. (I’m not qualified to comment on JavaME). In my opinion, the Java Virtual Machine is one of the best written pieces of software in history, but it’s the simple ancillary items that fail it. Things such as the installer and the automatic updater. Plus there’s the whole branding mess (is it JDK or is it SDK? Is it version 6.0 or 1.6. What are all those confusing update and build numbers? Consumers don’t understand what 1.6.0_02-b06 means). There are some exciting developments coming along to address some of these concerns — such as JavaFX, the Java Kernel and modules — but we need very rapid progress in order to make up for lost time.
    As a side note, I sincerely hope people don’t start typing Java in all capital letters. All-capital names for programming languages/platforms are so 1960’s/1970’s (BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, LISP). It just looks ugly!

  125. "Eight strokes for the Java logo" is not by luck is by design.

  126. Garance

    If I understand this correctly, Sun is going to change their ticker-symbol to ‘JAVA’, but are not changing anything else. No new Java-dripping names for products or for the company itself, right?
    Not a sarcastic question here, but who cares about the ticker-symbol of a stock? Wouldn’t that be the guys on Wall Street? And yet you admit: "Granted, lots of folks on Wall Street know SUNW, given its status as among the most highly traded stocks in the world (the SUNW symbol shows up daily in the listings of most highly traded securities)". Isn’t there some kind of weird disconnect here?
    Apparently there is some fantasy that if the ticker-symbol is changed, everyone will rush to buy the stock. Well, back in the real-world, stocks cycle up-and-down. Do you really want people to be saying "Boy is JAVA down today!". That phrase might be hilarious to programmers, but not the best image for a computer technology.
    But what do I know, so go ahead change it. I’m not in marketing, so maybe this is a good idea. But I can’t help but think that I should sell my (very-few) shares of stock in SUNW. If changing the ticker symbol costs will cost the company more than $100 or so, then I suspect it will be a waste of money.
    Maybe call it JSUN or SUNJ.
    I just can’t believe this is a serious story…

  127. "Eight strokes for the Java logo" is not by luck.
    I believe is by design.
    And I guess we design our path to turn into "fortune", "prosper" and "wealth".

  128. This is a phenomenal move. Way to go !

  129. Too bad you didn’t go with symbol ROCK !!!
    Sun needs to market the UltraSparc T2 as a T1 on steroids and start selling x86 boxes into Windows environments! A sale is a sale and if someone is planning on running Windows why not let the hardware be from Sun?
    Getting back to marketing. Sun needs to start marketing how great their blade systems are (SPARC,Intel and AMD chips all in the same rack!) and how the T2 can handle the workloads of a IV+ chip.
    Sun’s done so much the last 5 years to turn itself around that it deserves to start racking in the money from it’s products.
    Best of luck and remember Apple got lucky with the iPod. There are few iPod moments in history.

  130. Kemp Watson

    Sun should be much more than Java, which is essentially no different than Ruby, Lua, Python, VB, .NET, or a host of other languages.
    Will you change the ticker next year to Fortress?
    Change for the sake of change. Sorry to say, get a new mktg dept.

  131. Brooker

    Jonathan, until now I had felt you were proving an asset, today
    however I have to say, as a longtime shareholder I’m apalled and
    The tail clearly has a firm hold of the dog and is attempting
    to shake it to death yet again.
    Suggest you google up "B-Ark" and ensure the marketeers set sail
    immediately, it’s one department in Sun which has never had a clue.
    If I needed any further prompting to offload my shares, this sad
    display is it.

  132. And I thought Java was ultimately destined to become a dolphin!

  133. This is a terrible idea. There are still plenty of negative perceptions associated with Java and in many cases customers see Java as a slow and largely unimportant technology. When your average consumers not working in the realm of computing hear JAVA, they think "slow annoying applet" and certainly not "revolutionary Internet technology". Does Sun really want to make it the face of the company? I think it is going to be a PR disaster, so please don’t do it before it’s too late.

  134. I know another vendor that used to be insanely famous for their UNIX systems, that suddenly decided they should emphasize another strength of theirs over what they were known for, despite a majority of their revenue being generated by their hardware business.
    You’re throwing away 20 year-reputation (that caused things like Your great sales in .com times) for something the average joe knows but doesn’t care about?
    Are You, really, really sure you want to go the SGI route?
    If You think SUNW represents the past, that’s not because the future will be so much more new and shiny, oh no. it’s because it’s all that will be left.

  135. The Contrarian

    As a long-time Java guy, I can’t help feeling betrayed here, Jonathan. You’ve all told us for years that you are the stewards of Java, keeping it safe for us from the ravages of the obvious bad guys at Microsoft and the subtle bad guys at IBM. Then a few years back, at your lowest point, you listened to some imbecile in marketing. You went and betrayed our trust by slapping the word in front of everything in a way no-one else in the Java community could do – JDS, JES and worse. That hurt, you know. We felt dirty after that.
    But times changed, and you have been on the way back. We thought you’d got over your excesses in the new era of open source and free software love. We were even willing to treat the thing over Apache as a family feud. And then you go and do this, demonstrating that we were all mistaken in trusting you as stewards of Java and that you’ll listen to voices telling you the word is just a brand and Sun owes no-one anything over its use.
    Plenty of other commentators here are missing the real point. The move is a great piece of "marketing", associating Sun with all the value that’s in Java globally for people who’d otherwise be clueless. But what you’re forgetting is that value came from, and is shared with, Java developers everywhere. You just proved to us that you can’t be trusted as a steward. I hope that was the plan. Because I, like every other once-loyal Java developer, will be be reminded of it every time I read news about Sun from now on.

  136. Paul

    And just how much money, exactly, are you making by selling Java downloads and OpenOffice? Yeah, thought so.
    Love them both, but glad it’s not my paycheck that depends on their sales. Lucky old Google giving away free client software that’s instantly compatible with Google Apps where they make advertising money, or sell service around it…

  137. Junior

    I am amazed by all the negative comments. Obviously I am in the minority (at least with regard to current postings) and that is the exact reason I want to post this comment: WELL DONE JONATHAN AND SUN!!!

  138. Please tell me it is joke. I am wondering if the board had the same thoughts that of the majority of the people who commented here. Sun is not just Java. I personally feel that Sun has a more positive branding than Java.

  139. Past Sunny

    It will ensure a faster collapse and better for all of us…since you do show up in some deals still.
    Why did you not pick SO (for Star Office) ?
    If all this brand was worth something, it would have pulled in some revenue and you not having to layoff employees even 6 years after the bubble burst.
    Brands are worth something when they make money and sell products.
    Ever seen 3M building a brand about what is inside the product….oh our glue is developed using ^%&^ technology. So now we hope you buy our glue more and yes our symbol now will be ^%&^.
    Fire all the marketing folks and get on to building products which can be sold.

  140. Larry Chen

    Lets hope that JAVA results in 888 for JAVA bag holders. Oops! Did I actually say it!? I meant share holders šŸ™‚
    888 – prosperity x3.

  141. Aaron

    WARNING: Borland -> Inprise, United Airlines -> Allegis
    without a corresponding product reason, just a name change doesn’t save one from anything and confuses your market. I say this as a former employee of Sun and it’s sad to see this thinking gain traction at was was once a great company.
    If true, and Sun abandons its roots to a mere name change, it is the beginning of the end. Sad, but glad Sun will have contributed good to the world in the past: NFS and Java, and making the network the emphasis of computing. But renaming yourself for no other reason than to go with the flavor of the month, ppfft. Dumb move My Little Pony.

  142. HC

    Please do not do this. The laughing will never stop! My SUNW portfolio is already a joke to my broker.

  143. Sun Fan

    JAVA tag acts exactly in an opposite way you expect it to be. You are killing the excellent brand recognition of SUN as a whole. Agreed JAVA is ubiquitous and i have all the respect in the world for it, but where’s SPARC and microelectronics ??? I really wish there would have been a better brainstorming from the short-sighted marketing guys.

  144. Dude! You totally could have changed it to ‘PONY’ – everyone would have wanted one! šŸ™‚

  145. Mikel Manitius

    I heard that in response, Hewlett-Packard is changing their symbol to "TONR", IBM to "FEES", Dell to "DOA", and Microsoft to "RICH".

  146. Kevin

    Oh yeah, that’s just like the time Intel changed its ticker to 286, and IBM changed to PCJR, and Microsoft went with BOB. Good lord I’m glad I don’t care anything at all about Sun — wonder what is the total cost of a pointless ticker symbol change is.

  147. Horace Simpson

    Wake up Jonathan! You should open your eyes and see the outside world. Java is not a good product, and it is dying against new technologies. And most of the people in Wall Street will associate Java with Starbucks. By the way, I heard IBM has a lot more Java programmers than Sun, so, why not change Sun’s ticker symbol to IBM? In times of cost reduction and layoffs in your company, how much are you going to waste implementing this change, renaming products, part numbers, brochures, documentation? I bet more people associate your ponytail to Sun, than Java to Sun, so, why not to change the ticker to PONY?

  148. Sun Fan

    I love Sun hardware…It’s truly one of the topnotch technologies always.
    But such a move appears as an act of desperation to boost software growth.
    We identify more with Sun ‘MicroSystems’ than we do with ‘Java’…Now, since it’s already done, you should develop some killer commercial apps. and devices(like a java phone and JVM embeded applicances)…Keeping full faith in you…

  149. I am really struggling to understand this.
    There are so many people within Sun, including engineers, that do not use java day to day. What is a move like this trying to say ?
    If Sun is java, then what message does that send out internally ?
    JDS and JES were marketing failures. I really don’t see how this helps Sun’s ‘brand’.
    I’ll also be disappointed if the money and resource spent on this ‘spin’ could have been used to save ONE job at the forthcoming RIF …

  150. Ex-Sunnie

    This makes me happier than ever to have left Sun and sold off all my stock. Focus on the fluff, not the substance (like you have for years) and maybe Sun will get acquired by someone who can do a better job.

  151. FourTimesFour

    Homer Yau: re. this nonsense about eight, are you trying to say that Sun embraces superstition?

  152. kp

    I had a lot of respect for you. Sun is more than Java. This is a terrible waste of time and money.

  153. Rod

    Seriously, Johnathan…. I am SO glad I don’t work at Sun anymore. You guys have run that company into the ground by focusing on stupid shit like this instead of, I don’t know, developing better products?

  154. It is interesting direction that you are trying to move forward to but not necessarily a good one imho. However, if you do decide to move onto this, time will tell if it’ll work or not.
    Like many people have mentioned here, JAVA is slow. However, your point on limitless possibility that it provide is also valid.

  155. Peter Firmstone

    Hmm, reading many of the comments makes me smile, you must learn from the past to make a better future, don’t make the mistake of living in the past (yes it was good). Sometimes you have to make hard decisions and abandon the things your attached to.
    Tragically, in business, there are many people/companies who are innovative but fail to monetize that innovation, they may be extremely talented in their core business, but don’t understand commerce. Then there are companies who products are "good enough" and are very business savvy, who’s influence in the market may also result in many negative effects for consumers and end up making a killing, but even that can’t last forever, sooner or later the guard changes and the market moves on, and even these companies must look for new products. Long term a business needs to foster innovation, identify and listen to their current customers as well as market their products/services to new customers successfully, and continue to look for new problems that need solutions while shaping their company culture to suit.
    Now, thinking of all those young up and coming talented individuals who will be shaping the future in years to come, right now are using mobile devices with java, playing java games on the net, at some stage are going to get into the stock market, what are they going to do when they see the stock symbol?
    They’ll identify with JAVA, do some research and buy some shares punting for capital gain.
    Who else will think that? For starters, business managers who carry around the latest fad gadget mobile phone and have some real money to invest, who’ve never even heard of SUNW.

  156. dancing dragon

    One thing I will argue is that, although Java might touch more people than a workstation, few people understand what Java is, or are even aware that it is there in the technologies they are using. Actually, I don’t see that the average user realizes there is Java in their phone or elsewhere. It has this sort of invisible yet ubiquitous nature.
    Even people in the computer and software field. Extremely frequently and everywhere, I hear things like, what’s the use of Java when there’s PHP? I assume this is extremely common because much larger numbers of people can grasp the outermost layers of the Internet, than the rest underneath. Coming from the other direction, the other frequently heard response to Java is that, it’s slow, compared to C++.
    There are a lot of people who know Sun and do not know Java. In some sense, people understand the physical object of a workstation or computer chip, and the physical appearance of a Web page, but they can not see what or where Java is among all of that, currently, or its potential.
    Is it important that people have a better understanding of what Java is?

  157. Anonymous

    have you ever been using java to write a program. The seeling point of "compile once, run everywhere of java is just as the "binary compability of solaris", they are nice feature. but how many are care? Instead of they are something that slow down the innovation and the marketing is playing with words years by years.
    it is an ever stupid move by sun as i see, it does make no sense at all and again is a game of words and marketing on something that is stupid too

  158. Stan

    Can’t wait for the retraction. This ranks right up there with the 25th anniversary sale. Unless of course this is part of the grand scheme. Spin off the SW division and call it J2EE; The microelectronics division and call it ROCK; The Storage unit and call it, oh, let’s say STK; Where is the oversight by the board of directors?

  159. R. Whittaker

    Rather than reurgitate the sentiment that Java is NOT what sun should be known for (it’s NOT that great, compared to all of sun’s real achievements), I will second what someone else said earlier:
    What a blow to morale inside the company. First a seemingly good Fiscal Year is announced. Then a wide-ranging layoff. And now this?! No joke, I wonder how much this costs in change and administrative fees, and how many employees’ jobs could have been saved (who trusted in SUNW and are now paying for earlier bad decisions) by not embarking on this silly, unproven, venture. Pondering to the kids with games on their cellphones and techies that already know that Java is slow (and are much more interested in sun’s hardware and solaris) is not wise.
    To me, a stockholder I don’t care about the ticker symbol. I do care about the costs and silliness of changing it. The argument for doing so makes no sense. And if I was working at sun, this would surely probably rub me the wrong way.

  160. AD

    Will it really boost your company’s revenue by changing your ticker symbol to JAVA? Or even boost your brand recognition? I mean most users,byers,customers called them whatever don’t look at a ticker symbol when they choose a product. Why go through this just for a ticker tag? I mean how about making a drastic change in whatever product department of yours that could actually do some good for the company and those who shop at your little store? If it is branding that you are so worried about, then you should make some new innovating products that will blow people away, like Vista…..wait that just bloated people away, but seriously don’t think that a ticker change will make people do more business with you. I mean are you dropping all your server, work station etc. products and only focusing on Java apps? Cos thats what that would mean to me, yes Java is a big part of Sun, but it is not the core, the core I think is you server business. Maybe just put your efforts, attentions, workloads, ideas, brain-storming meetings into making new, better, super fantastico, consumer whoppingly. amazifying new products rather then just waisting your time on some Nasquack symbol. Is this what an MBA degree gives you? If so I would ask for my money back…. Make cool stuff Sun not retardo ticker nicknames that wont make you money or the consumer any good products. Peace out fo’ cheesies, stay strong stay SUNW.

  161. Nathan Myers

    I like how the Java logo has a progress bar that’s stuck at 75% done. People obliged to run Java programs get awfully used to seeing that, don’t they? Maybe it indicates Java’s position in its life cycle: at 12 years old, it has only four years left.
    This "deck-chairs" move about sums it up for Sun. Watch Java follow Sun to irrelevance and oblivion. Java never had any objective reason to exist, and without corporate backing, who will continue to pay it any attention?

  162. Wake up and smell the coffee

    Wow, what a barrage of negative responses. Sun’s vision is great, its eco-responsibility outstanding, but translating strategy into execution? Blah! Sun has become a cult of self-deluded holier than thous who earn lots of money and do not care about the shareholders….No, don’t kid yourself, you really don’t!
    You talk about how increasing use of the internet will drive demand for more infrastructure that you produce. So you give away code, to developers who will design more applications which will drive more web usage. But where is your actual mathematical, business model and plan that lays out EXACTLY how you will be the company to capture that revenue and at what rate? Cancel the ticker symbol change, and invest the money in business planning. SUNW to JAVA…so what.

  163. sean

    I like it because it’s linking the name to a company. Java is Sun’s name! Plus, Sun is not just a computer company, they’re a systems company that (now pay attention) runs Solaris, Windows and Linux on platforms like SPARC, Intel and AMD – and all at the same time if you want. Guess what. Java runs on these platforms too. There is name brand recognition with Java that is very valuable.

  164. Sun Fan

    Your stock sticker should be known by your SUN brand and not solely by a particular product (no matter how popular the product may be). Sun has evolved into much more than Java…

  165. Michael

    Why oh why did i buy sunw, err java, when i could of bought aapl about seven years ago?

  166. Sun Fan

    In my opinion, stock sticker should be borne by a brand and not solely by a particular product (no matter how popular the product may be). Not to compare literally, but MSFT wont have Windows ticker. Sun has evolved into innovations other than Java too…We wait for the juggernaut ROCK !

  167. Andre

    And the SCO group should change their symbol to FUKD! šŸ˜€

  168. mcyang

    SUN created JAVA and the whole JAVA economy. Just let the world remember that whenever they type the SUN sticker symbol. It’s a wonderful and creative PR move. Everybody is talking about this today and they will keep on talking. Even SUNW (excuse me – JAVA) stock reacted postitively. Congratulations!

  169. Other

    I knew a teenager who wanted to like randomly buy some stock in like that coffee thingie on their phone, but OMG like couldn’t figure out which stock to buy. ‘COFFEE PHONE THINGY’ totally isn’t the trading symbol. I think this is a great idea as they just might type in ‘JAVA’ before their ADHD didn’t distract them to watch a video of a dog running around with a firecracker in its mouth or something. It’s really unlikely that they would type in ‘SUNW’ as that is too confusing for stock buying teenagers. Cheers!

  170. Jason

    Java = Slow. Why would you want to associate your Stock ticket with that? Because it is slow to raise to double digit share price ?
    This is a lame idea. I have been a Sun Advocate for the past 10 years. Just when I thought that the light was at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel gets a hell of a lot deeper.
    Try to justify something to higher-ups that they think is slow. Hello Linux on Dell (which I dread to no end).

  171. Man, this is crazy. Sure, teenagers might recognise the Java brand but they don’t buy Sun products – they buy games for their phone. If Java didn’t exist, the games would be written in another language and they’d still buy them.
    Perhaps you could change it to DEAD next? Or you could change it to 2AIX to suggest the next UNIX platform once you’ve decided to stop selling computing products and sell Java logo t-shirts instead?
    Come on, the statement the customer is recieving now is that you just don’t care about people who buy products, you only care about getting a little cheap publicity before you step down as CEO and admit that Scott at least had a grasp on what Sun was all about.

  172. Sun is hardware. Solaris exists to sell the hardware.
    I’m nobody – just another system admin. We don’t buy sun servers – and brother we have a lot of them – because of ‘JAVA’ we buy them because the hardware is solid, the support is excellent and it scales for our needs.
    This is an interesting clue that the folks who run SUN don’t understand their own customers.

  173. Yikes! All this over a ticker symbol?
    I say put it to a vote at the shareholder meeting šŸ™‚

  174. Dave Malhotra

    Get the stock over $10/share and I don’t give a sh*t what you call it johnny boy!

  175. I almost did not see this post because my RSS aggregator is programmed to automatically junk any article about Java, such is my loathing for that bloated excuse for a programming language. Fake Steve Jobs to the rescue, although the mind-numbing idiocy of this move proved too much even for his otherwise acerbic wit.

  176. a

    By changing SUNW to JAVA, the momentum that is created by SUNW over the past year or so will get clamped. It will have to be started all over. On another note, assuming the name change costs money, its the last place someone would like to see money spent when there are impending layoffs. Its sending a wrong message to the community.

  177. Mr Know It All

    The only worse software than Java is Microsoft’s .NET
    Good luck with your new ticker šŸ™‚

  178. Gil

    Dude don’t follow the herd, on Wall Street the herd is always wrong. Go SUNWSUNWSUNWSUNW, it’s not too late to nix this SGI type idea, don’t be like Ben Bernanke and be afraid to admit when your 180 degrees out of whack

  179. Sun Employee

    The Retirement of SUNW, I don’t think so. Just when things were looking good this had to happen. Perhaps you should retire!!!

  180. Norman

    Of course, you forgot to mention the benefits of having a catchy stock symbol. Some notables are LUV (southwest) and HOG (harley davidson, formerly HDI). There’s a WSJ article about this from earlier this year, good move to attract those non techie investors who don’t associate JAVA with slow and burdensome.

  181. This is an exceptional move and underlines Sun’s commitment to Java. Looking forward to see resurgence of Sun.

  182. Bryan Grayson

    If this was the only annoucement Johnathan had made all year, I can see people bitching about him wasting time and money. But this guy is all over the place, and he is trying move Sun off dead center. Personally, I’m impressed by the energy he brings to the table. Give him a chance.

  183. inconceivable

    This is sillier than if Apple were to change its ticker to IPOD. At least that brand has a positive connotation, unlike Java which gives me a bad enough taste that it almost made me stop drinking coffee.

  184. Just A Virtual Analyst

    This only makes sense if JAVA is the next great (read: electricity/oil/water) utility. Commodities are ubiquitous, irreplaceable and have no subsititute. It’s cool to own the generic.

  185. mak geek

    I believe 90% of comments here have nothing to do with the announcement. The stock symbol has nothing to do with the logo that appears on SUN’s products! Are you people telling me that the symbol F (NYSE) makes more sense to Ford than the symbol JAVA for SUN Microsystems?. "F" does not help Ford sell more cars and even has no reference to cars. But I can bet that some people are going to buy JAVA shares just because of the name and for big hedge funds and financial institutions it won’t even matter! Who cares what the symbol is. Please scan the NYSE and NASDAQ and you’ll be surprised by what you see as stock ticker!

  186. Joshua Terry

    Bout time, transparency is equal to sideways. Unless it pays, Federal is locked in, but MPK is reachin’, you game ?

  187. anonymous

    I’ve always admired the great technologies and advancements Sun made in the world of computing. Java is a great technology, no doubt about that. But isn’t Sun much more than just Java? OpenSolaris, OpenOffice, Niagara systems, Storage, Services, etc aren’t all these great too? For the past couple of years, the changes happening in Sun are great for the company, its developers and the computing world. Changing SUNW ticker to JAVA isn’t one among them. SUNW is a nice ticker for Sun and hopefully it wouldn’t change.
    A user, supporter and investor.

  188. Skeptic

    Unless you also plan to change the company name to Java, your reasons for changing the stock symbol don’t make much sense to me. (And I don’t think changing the company name to Java is a good idea.)

  189. Is that really the sort of thing Sun wants to be promoting? Who thinks up this stuff?

  190. Disappointed Sun Employee

    OH MY GOD.
    All sun employees are walking around grinning at this. We have gone from anger to acceptance to resignation to good plain old humor.
    What were you thinking Jonathan?

  191. Armand

    This is really a big joke. If you want to get more known in the market then this is not the way to go, Sun should spend more money in marketing, no matter were i go i see HP or Dell or IBM, but not Sun.
    I love Sun products, but to let everybody know it, you need to be available everywhere. Make a selling system like HP and Dell online in every country, to style your desktop, dump the desktops in supermarkets, this is how you get your name out there. Probably the men of the family who just bought the desktop in the supermarket has a company who needs servers or software and then thinks hmm i like that Sun my son bought.
    Changing the ticker is idiot to get better known, because who is buying the stocks, not the "normal" people, i do not know anybody in my surrounding who buys stocks, but i know hunderds of people who buy computers, get those systems out there like HP or a Dell and let everyone know SUN.

  192. fred

    April Fools?
    I don’t know what universe you’re living in, Jonathan, but Java’s reputation is anything but forward looking. I know only one Java fanboy who likes Java–and I use the term "fanboy" deliberately because I think he’s deluded; all the rest of my programmer friends view Java as something old school and sucky. It’s too bad you’ve chosen to hitch SUNW’s wagon to that sad dog.

  193. Sun Fan

    With the Java hats on now, please consider developing some extreme 3D graphics java games and sell it on PS2/PSP or XBOX …Dont wait for someone else to develop technology atop java. You can be the frontiers and if your product holds water, the followers are always there …

  194. Sun Well Wisher

    You can do it Jonathan. It’s a bumpy road ahead and you are doing everything you possibly can to lift the boat during the rising tides…Just dont loose the sense of direction by diluting the product portfolio. Good Luck !

  195. Seems like a wast of time to me ?!
    Why not get Star/Open Office working on Mac OSX 10.5 without X11 support needed. As everytime I tell someone to get a Mac and not a PC I have to give the MS Word as X11 confuses them..
    I would say that it should be important to Sun to soft that out ASAP and I really do not know what it has not been done ?

  196. Thommy M.

    Ah, got it! Speed of stock will be the same as of its name. Nice move (not).

  197. Tirthankar

    Brands matter for employees also. So now we are a JAVA company ? Almost anything is packaged with the name Java. A classic example. The Solaris Cluster product is called Java Availability Suite when it has nothing to do with JAVA. What a joke.
    This is more a PR stunt and waste of money that popularizing the brand. The only community which cares about the ticker symbol is the finance community and they are already aware of SUN and SUNW. How does changing the ticker symbol to JAVA help ???
    Its also motivating to the huge percentage of Sun employees who have nothing to do with JAVA but see that everything get branded as JAVA.

  198. This looks like a terrible idea. Most people I know associate "Java" with "bloated" and "slow". Why would you want to paint the whole company with that brush?
    DEC, HP, SGI and now Sun – once-great computer engineering firms now reduced to being run-of-the-mill ones.

  199. UX-admin

    Wow, if this just isn’t the last nail in Sun marketing department’s coffin, I don’t know what is!
    When something like this happens, it is high time to fire the marketing dept. and start fresh, especially the BOZO that came up with this COOCKAMAMIE idea!!!
    Java might very well be on "millions of devices" and a "better known brand", but among computer professionals, Java is known as one of the biggest TECHNICAL FLOPS in the computer history and one of the biggest BLUNDERS Sun Microsystems, Inc. has ever made.
    Java is a slow, complex even for the simplest of tasks, and used by people which don’t know much about programming computer operating systems or computer hardware, i.e. "experts".
    Java is Sun’s biggest disgrace. And now you will flaunt your biggest shame as the best thing that ever happened to you?

  200. cut the ponytail

    Wow, Johnny sure did rattle a hornet’s nest. As an investor, I could care less what the stock symbol is. I just wish Johnny would stop insisting Sun makes money on Java. That would be IBM who makes money on Java.
    It has been more than 6 years since the dot com bust. Sun is still trying to turn that big ship around. We all know what happened to another "unsinkable" ship that couldn’t turn quickly enough.
    Johnny – Please GROW REVENUE or Wall Street will continue to hammer your company. Cutting costs is only a short term fix.

  201. I can only imagine that the marketing folks at Sun have done their due diligence. My main concerns are the implications that the name change might have for the Sun Solaris operating system. As is, I have a difficult time trying to build my company around the Sun Solaris operating system, because the few clients I have are constantly asking me about Linux.
    What kind of message is Sun sending to the customer? Might it not be a better solution to divert the funds to the developer community so that they can include every possible driver for third party hardware in support of Solaris x86 & OpenSolaris? How can I build a business around Sun’s Solaris, when the company seems to be abandoning it? Yes, this is the perception that the customers have.
    Maybe investors will take note and invest more in Sun. Maybe customers will think that Sun Solaris is totally dead. Unless your team of sales, service engineers and marketeers can start convincing the customers that your operating system is a viable alternative, they will continue to switch to Linux. My expertise is in Solaris, and I sincerely hope that Sun knows what it’s doing.

  202. Tony Wasserman

    Maybe I am missing something here, but I think that the change in stock symbol to JAVA is an extremely bad idea. (Yes, I am a shareholder.) Sun has just gone through a multi-year effort to open source Java so that it could be driven by a community, and not have its control completely associated with Sun. It seems to me that taking the JAVA stock symbol for its branding value largely defeats the purpose of the move to open source Java. Not only that, but the choice of JAVA devalues Sun’s other assets, including all of the processors, storage systems, and software, most of which is also open source. If you want a new symbol, OPEN is likely to be available soon, now that Open Solutions no longer exists. At least OPEN conveys the message of open source and open systems. Jonathan, please reconsider the decision to change from SUNW to JAVA.

  203. me

    Jonathan, GREAT MOVE!
    Sei il piu’ grande strafico del mondo!
    (=You’re the best cool smart guy of the world!)
    Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great…

  204. Amazing, our island become one of the stock option name in NASDAQ
    anyone want to turn our another island to another stock in NASDAQ, and move indonesia to NASDAQ also.
    we wait this announcement, this is cool information.
    Frans Thamura, Javaman from Java island

  205. Gavin

    I think changing from SUNW to JAVA will never harm SUN as a company. Ordinary people wont look at the ticker. From all the blogs Jonathan has posted (I read every one :-)) sun’s systems business is not going to change in the future, but they think if they are to make any sort of real money they will have to use java. This is along the lines of Apple ipod etc.. Sun is betting on monetizing java in the future. The number of solaris downloads or the number of servers they sell will never compare to the number of ipods apple will sell or the number of mobile phones motorola will sell. So ordinary people are never going to know them because of solaris, servers etc. So if sun thinks they will make a bigtime effect on ordinary people in the future by producing some sort of java gadget or service I think its not a bad idea to move to JAVA but investors wont care whether its JAVA SUNW or SOLA :).

  206. RamaRao V Ayyagari

    I think it is foolish idea!
    Please if you have to change , change to SUNJ. The SUN in SUNJ is still relevant.
    As someone pointed out, you could please get into the ‘availability’ in the complete market spectrum.
    I would love to see a ‘supercomputing’ desktop for the home user running OpenSolaris or Linux or for that matter Windows. How about some real hand held and gaming devices!
    Best of Luck, Jonathan!

  207. To much buzz here, for Sun/we just changed a ticker symbol. Agreed, it will draw some attention and shows the direction Sun is moving, but it won’t be the decline of the whole western civilization.
    I would have liked if we’d been even more progressive and changed the company name. "Sun Microsystems" (in particular the "Microsystems") always sounds a bit like we’d be producing ROBOTRON printers – anyone remember these? And when I tell people I’m working for Sun Microsystems they often answer "Yeah, I know. Bill Gates is your boss and you’re doing all that Windows stuff". šŸ™‚
    So here is my suggestion: How about changing "Sun Microsystems" to e.g. "Java Systems"? Or maybe "Sun Java Systems" for those of us who don’t like the idea of dropping Stanford University Network.
    Armin Wallrab

  208. jcrupi

    Why stop there? Just change the company name to Java.
    The good news is you may get a whole bunch of people buying sun stock thinking they are buying Starbucks stock.
    This won’t help the Sun brand, it will dilute it.

  209. Patrick's Round Trip

    Jonathan: You are attempting to execute a brand re-stage for Wall Street, by associating SUN with a yesterday story that’s entirely disconnected from SUN’s most important assets: The assets on which survival of this company depends. This is irrational on its face, but it gets worse. Do you know what JAVA really symbolizes to tech investors ? JAVA is a (sputtering) if ubiquitous monument to SUN’s cross-categorical failure to monetize its most important innovations. Tech people are notoriouly bad at marketing and all things metaphysical, but this fiasco will make it into Harvard B- School case materials. Count on it. Reverse this decision before it’s too late. And clean house. Your PR people are also (death penalty qualified). If I didn’t know better I’d swear you were trying to kill SUN deliberately, so that KKR could come in & sweep it up on the cheap…(BTW: where’s the blog-spin on the Hardware assault committed by your IBM deal ?)

  210. nobody

    I thought the idea of cheap commodity branded Sun PCs would be awesome. I’m thinking something like a quad core commodity chip with a 4+ disk RAID5 1+ TB physical volume, a 20-40GB logical volume per OS, growable 50+ GB home and 500+ GB data partitions, and a common universal bootloader like grub. With just the right configuration they should be upgradable, redundant, and cheap. Seems like the perfect system for OpenSolaris and perhaps a LFS and OpenSolaris derived OpenLinux type of thing? Go for the desktop. I’m thinkin distributed apps, like a distributed networked filesystem with scalable and configurable redundancy and security, office without a closet type situations, mesh networking, network is computer, etc. But I’m crazy..

  211. Kevin Boone

    I disagree with folks who say that Java has a poor image in the computing industry. In at least one section of the industry — web-based e-commerce — Java is more-or-less ubiquitous. There would hardly be any other choice.
    But that’s not the point — Java is a programming language, and represents only a small part of what Sun does. The idea that `Java’ in some way represents or encapsulates Sun’s business will only make sense to people who know nothing about technology. This is a market segment that Microsoft already has sewn up.

  212. Stephan Schaarschmidt

    I thought the abbreviation SUNW stands for "SUN Wall Street". Well then…
    As long as the firm name SUN Microsystems still remains it’s ok.
    But in my opinion SUN should back out from the Wall Street. Parts of the firm should not retain in the hands of extern person. No company has to be addicted to the morales of extern investors or something else.
    I’m a free SUN fellow but do not to be very well versed in all the strategic objectives of SUN. In conjunction with the JAVA platform, why not making JAVA (on JAVA accelerated hardware) a direct alternative solution to IBM i-Series (AS/400) products? The Sun Java Enterprise Platform includes all the components a medium company needing. It’s a complete enterprise infrastructure solution.
    kindly regards

  213. A Sun Employee

    Jonathan, if you are committed to Sun’s success, I have a simple recipe: Fire California.
    The whole state.
    Seriously. Sun in California is a filter that catches and keeps people who can’t get a job with better prospects at one of the legions of startups that grow like weeds in the silicon valley. It is the most astonishing center of incompetence on the planet. The economics are such that it can’t be fixed. Please put it out of its misery.
    We have extraordinary engineers in other locales where we can hire the best and the brightest. As long as the least capable group of employees wields ultimate decision-making power, we waste most of our most competent employees’ best work.
    Fire the lawyers who send cease-and-desist letters to companies that redistribute OpenSolaris and have the common-sense to use the word Solaris and thus enhance our own brand at no cost to us. Fire the corporate marketing dips**ts who blow a million on ads for developer tools in the Wall Street Journal. Fire the branding dips**ts who wouldn’t know a brand if it bit them on the ass and are more concerned about turf than making this company a success. Fire the directors who need to pee on the furniture like incontinent poodles to make it *their* furniture and think the way to do that is by renaming our products (for the 20th time) and have no conception of how that destroys adoption and brand recognition.
    Really, if you want evidence that Sun is a filter that aggregates, collects and cultivates incompetence, there is no better evidence than our own corporate marketing. People don’t start out this pathologically inept – this level of dysfunctionality has to be carefully bred and cultivated.
    And this whole boomerang thing…I’ll try to be gracious and avoid naming names, but what the hell are we doing bringing back the very people who drove this company into the ground in the first place? Boomerang indeed. The only question is whose neck the boomerang ends up wrapped around.
    Heck, trace my IP address and it can be my neck. Big deal…
    I work for Sun. In California. I’m putting my money where my mouth is (or vice versa). Fire me. Please. Just promise me that the dips**t menagerie we’ve built here will go with me.
    I own far too much Sun stock. If you take my advice, I lose my job. Ironic that I’m sure being fired would increase the chances I retire fat and happy, isn’t it?
    A friend of mine in the VC business once told me the secret to the silicon valley’s sucess was "we don’t penalize failure." But that doesn’t mean we should nurture and cherish it.
    Do I actually want to get fired? No. But I want to work for a company I can respect. And there is a lot of rot right at the heart of this one. It’s not evil, its not malice, it’s unchallenged people living up to low expectations.

  214. Nat Beens

    Java (TM) is dead, killed by SUNW sorry "JAVA" itself. IBM, Intel, Nokia, Redhat, Apache and Eclipse will create their own managed-code runtime any time soon and that will be the end, my friend. At least the end of SUNW JAVA Java (TM). And it will be a lucky day for everybody being tired about Java’s so-called „benevolent dictator“ who reveals itself to be a totalitarist dictator. Using the GPL as a „licence to kill“ i.e. Apache Harmony is utterly evil. Is there any difference between the evil empire named Microsoft and the evil empire named Sun Microsystems?
    Neither the Eclipse-foundation, neither Apache Foundation, neither IBM, Intel, Nokia or Redhat and neither all the other members of the JCP really need SUNW to survive. Life will probably be much easier if they won’t have to deal with SUNW’s almost totalitarist dictatorship on Java-technology.
    I’m already counting the days already until I will read that in the press: „IBM, Intel and Apache are leaving the Java Community process“.

  215. Scott

    It shames me that a company like Sun would lower itself to using a ticker code as marketing. This is the type of action I’d expect from a penny-stock player, not someone like Sun.
    Can you see Microsoft changing their stock code to VSTA in an effort to ride on the back of Windows Vista? Of course they wouldn’t – not only because it doesn’t make sense, but also because it gives the impression that Microsoft _is_ Vista, when in practice Microsoft knows the importance of a diverse product line.
    So if SUNW is now JAVA, does that mean "Sun" is now "Java"? It doesn’t take too much reading between the lines to believe that this is the first step in removing the hardware side from Sun’s portfolio and turning it into a Software-only company.
    What’s next Jonathan, paying bonuses to staff who change their names to "Java" or "Solaris" ?

  216. deep

    many times you emphasize that you are a open company and listen to your audience.
    i think atleast this time you show that you .
    and fire the person who suggested and sold this idea to you.
    good products, services and tactfull marketing will make the company not BS.

  217. Jonathan
    Based on the negative comments and the original definition, would it not make more sense to retain the SUN, drop the W (workstations) and swap it with J. this will still bring SUN (SUNJ)up to date without compromising it’s history and broad appeal.

  218. Sounds like an ill thought out Marketing move to me, put you’re thinking caps back on and be intelligent again, cos this is quite possibly one of the most pointless and stupidest things i’ve seen Sun do. What a waste of time, money and resources that could’ve been spent in other areas alot better! and don’t anyone tell me that it didn’t cost anything, because all the time they spent talking about whether to do it probably cost them more than any one of you earn in 1-2 years.
    I don’t see how changing your stock ticker from SUNW to JAVA increases brand awareness in anyway, i really wouldn’t consider the people watching stock prices and stock tickers to be your core market for java. I could think of at least 5 ways off the top of my head that would increase brand awareness alot more than changing the stock ticker *rolls eyes*, for instance, 1 idea would be a big marketing campaign linking SUN to it’s Technologies.

  219. Simon

    I am reading some of these comments and breaking my heart laughing. People are going on about FUD from the 80’s in relation to Java. Java has long since stopped being slow, it is used at the enterprise level and In Europe for example the majority of all software on mobiles phones is in Java. Even gaming speeds can be met (google jake2 ).
    I can’t see how people get so worked up on a ticker. TBH if someone is basing their market decisions based on a ticker name they are in trouble.

  220. This is stupid

    Pretty bad idea. So long, Sun.

  221. cktse

    what a waste of time. i want to see a forward looking vision in your products, like solaris 11, not your stock symbol. an extra minute you or your management spend time on your stock symbol, is an extra minute waste. an extra minute handed free to your competitor.
    learn to respect your history and root: SUNW forever.
    BTW unless you are living in a cave, java brand image is: SLOW.

  222. Anonymous

    "brands, like employees, aren’t expenses, they’re investments"
    Does this make your employees feel safer in their jobs? NO.

  223. Deonast

    Never commented before, as I always found some merit in your ideas. But this one is silly. Alright I hadn’t associated SUNW with old workstations, I just assumed it was something like SUN World which makes sense to me. Java is a limiting name. I like JAVA but yes at least in the technical world it is hard not to find people who do not associate JAVA with slow.
    Sure people might see JAVA logo pop up from time to time, but how many take notice of it when they are concerned more about the app they are loading. JAVA is more of a platform these days than a product. You wouldn’t call your ticker X86, Intel wouldn’t.
    You can’t characterise a company or a stock market ticker on that. If it is to fool investors it will have a very short lived success rate.

  224. Daniel

    Smart move. Now all the people that were looking for JVDT are going to buy JAVA shares by accident.

  225. grid

    firstly i like the move because SUNW looks plain ugly.
    The dude is right – SUNV, SUNW, SUNZ… silly meaningless things.
    and certainly mostly unknown to general public.
    secondly java is not slow. is was slow. wake up.
    and thirdly – this tiny change has generated enough
    public attention to justify another change (whichever.)
    just for the kicks.
    great gutsy move.

  226. LongTime

    I suppose this is a lot easier than doing the hard work to return value on shareholder equity. What’s next? changing the logo might add a few cents on the stock price. The move is symbolic and consequently pointless. Act like a CEO for a while, see how that works.

  227. andre

    There are no single post on this blog that have a middle approach – there are those who complain and those who pays attention to the real things. Those people that links Java with 10 years old applet do not live on this planet – Java is everywhere on the INDUSTRY, and the brokers known that. This is a nice move, and a lot of people posting here do not known nothing about how works the trade. JS have the courage the get the right way – bravo!

  228. Really? What an utterly dumb idea. Out here in the ‘real world’ where brand is a subconscious thing, I have to say this just wreaks of marketing minds gone mad with something that seems, on the surface, to be a great idea. But, simply, it isn’t. I can’t believe, Jonathan, that you’ve allowed yourself to be convinced that this was a good idea.

  229. GK

    Ridiculous… just that…

  230. Mark Green

    How I laughed!!! I switched to ASP.Net from Java after watching the accelerating decline in popularity of the whole Java stack and realised I was about to become obsolete. Well done on pinning your entire company’s stock profile to a bolted horse. You marketing guys, huh – always making me chuckle.
    Some other suggested new tickers:
    IBM: OS2
    Microsoft: DOS4
    Borland: QTRO

  231. Kevin

    This Sun employee would like to know what will we change to when
    Java becomes old as all technology does over its life cycle.
    Seems the SUN in SUNW makes more sense for a company named
    Sun Microsystems then one of its technology offerings name.
    Been with Sun for a long time, its fun but one of the frustrating
    traits is its rebranding to be trendee, iplanet, SunOne, etc.
    Customers find it annoying.

  232. martin.k

    I only hope that it’s the stock symbol which is going to change… not the SUN logo (company name ?)…
    When I see my enterprise servers get "JAVA" stickers I will die of heart attack… That’s for sure…
    Please, do not kill the SUN !

  233. Chris

    Everyone is thinking about it from a programming perspective. IT only accounts for a small part of all industries and no one outside IT is going to know what JAVA means.
    Ticker symbols are for investors to easily remember the companies name.
    Absolutely stupid idea!

  234. Why not change your ticker to PERL? It’s tortured language structure, horrendous internal organisation and operational inefficiency all reflect core Sun Microsystem values. Oh wait, same thing applies to Java. Never mind.

  235. I remember a few years back when Sun wanted to put the word "Java" in every product name. I don’t think that lasted very long. There was even a clustering product that got named to Java-something when in fact it had no Java in it at all. However, it was slow, so perhaps Java in its name was appropriate.

  236. Arvino

    I can understand that you would like SUN brand to be known through its software and development platform.
    StarOffice, OpenOffice, Java is SUN. The hardware, storage systems are all SUN. Nice move.
    But why on earth, the SUN ticker symbol need to be changed from SUNW to JAVA? I still don’t get the point. This seems totally irrelevant. Am I missing something here?.
    And what happen when someday PHP take over, or Ruby getting more popular, are you going to switch SUN symbol to AARGH??

  237. What was the cost of such a change? Could this money been invested elsewhere in the company for better return- like making it easier for customers to buy products from Sun? Improving Customer Service? Investing in partner/reseller loyalty….
    Is Sun’s brass listening to its employees and customers?
    It would be an interesting comparison to plot price of one share of JAVA and one Grande Latte from Starbux.

  238. Marketing Weenie

    This Sun employee applauds the move. Our name doesn’t change. Our products don’t change. To me, Java isn’t just a technology or an ecosystem, it’s an idea that transcends them and stands for something bigger. A bigger raft of possibilities and opportunities surrounding the incredible, and still underestimated, power of the network. And what company invents and delivers the most innovative network infrastructure on earth? Sun Microsystems.
    Makes perfect sense to me.

  239. Mike D.

    An absolutley great Marketing move. Just look at all the attention it’s getting. Who cares what the ticker symbol is? The Sun logo isn’t going to change. This is simply an outstanding way to draw more attention to Sun at $0.

  240. Paddy

    Your first bad move….please let it be the last.

  241. There wouldn’t BE a "Java Startup Experience" if it wasn’t so slow. Every time I see it I cringe because I know I have just lost control of my browser window for 10-20 seconds while Java does everything in its power to crash my browser.
    I prefer the "Macromedia Flash Startup Experience", with is nothing at all, just a hundred milliseconds of delay before my content starts playing for me.

  242. Dennis

    I am feeling very sorry for the engineers who are developing great products. But this is yet another example that the marketing & sales unit is -by far- the worst in the industry. If you do not change this quickly, you can choose one of these tickers in 2010: 0CAP, NO$$, POOR, ENDE, FINL

  243. Come on folks.. lets give Jonathan a chance to explore this idea as well. When people can change their names in midlife – hoping that might make him/her more presentable and thus more successful, why not SUNW to JAVA – maybe thats the secret path to $52/share ?!

  244. OK, so if Java is Sun then you are now slow, bulky, annoying and crash a lot ?
    Not the image I’d want to see associated with Sun.. šŸ˜¦

  245. machoq

    I applaud the move, the most important goal for a company is to make money for its investors.
    JAVA is a huge brand and an enormous contribution to the World as such, but Sun has failed to capitalize on it. The ticket ‘JAVA’ will cause a huge number of investors to take notice of the stock and realize that ohhh i know this company.
    I am an IT professional and an investor…., I am very happy that SUN has kept it’s name so it remembers where it started from, while taking a first step to capitalize one of the biggest brands.

  246. Sunw User

    Very, very bad decision. I use Sun products, hardware, compilers, and other tools. I don’t even currently use Java. Java is product that is so generic, which is good, I don’t even directly associate Sun and Java. Change your stock ticker back to SUNW, don’t use JAVA.
    SUNW user for over 22 years.

  247. There is no value in changing SUNW to JAVA. Absolutely none whatsoever.

  248. Did your financial analyst friend also explain how we roll our eyes each time we "experience" a Java launch? Seriously, the concept that a programming language should even have a "launch experience" is beyond parody.
    Sun is circling the drain.

  249. Rene

    Aha ! So we finally found out what it is , that is preventing us to get back into top-gear as a company ? Of course, our symbol-name at Wall Street ! Why didn’t we think of that before ? Run, while you can……

  250. Seth

    Please STOP this madness…!!
    I can’t believe I am saying this – But this news makes me pine for Scott McNealy!
    Don’t mess with the glorious history of the company, Jon.
    You don’t seem to understand something. Lemme state it clearly:
    Apple fans love Apple. They are loyal.
    If Apple were to change their "ticker" to IMAC or IPOD, they would never forgive Apple.
    To a lesser extend, so is the SUNW customers – only a much smaller percentage. Don’t offend them. You can’t afford to. They are the ones keeping you afloat.
    Nobody loves Java.
    Sun is a LOT more than Java.

  251. When something like this happens how does the Wisdom of Crowds apply?

  252. I don’t care too much about what this does for Sun…but I sure like more Java being seen and heard about. šŸ˜‰
    Me being a Java programmer.. šŸ™‚

  253. Rich Campbell

    Not worth the money. Don’t do it!….AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE NEVER DO A REVERSE-SPLIT.

  254. Jonas

    The iPod trademark has probably outgrown Apple in a similar way. Do you think Jobs would change their ticker to IPOD? Very improbable. He has a broader vision of what Apple can accomplish than that. Now I think it is time for you to explain your reasoning…

  255. Partha(Y)

    I am not sure if changing the ticker to JAVA, makes any real sense. I would say "wait and see". But, in an effort to please the analysts and investors, there is quite a lot of heat within Sun, which i believe is not what was expected.

  256. Want the real story? Read the Fake Jonathan blog at
    Change can be scary; the key to success is to make them laugh.

  257. Harrosh

    Jonathan, Thinking outside of the box means outside of the box. It means the vast majority will not see what you see for they are inside the box. Brand awareness is very expensive to obtain (especially today with so many media choices) so if you are lucky enough to own a brand that is known to billions of people why not capitalize on it. How much awareness does SUNW creat for the company on a daily basis. How much awareness will those eight stokes that make up the JAVA log creat for sun microsystems in the future? I want to know which one of the strokes in the JAVA logo represents the "hook" in Java that we may finally see… it the stroke represented by the handle?

  258. Kemp Watson

    From the press release: "Sun today generates license revenues from Java technology, but more significantly derives revenue from the software, storage, servers, services and microelectronics that power the datacenters behind global Java deployments"
    Would that revenue be less if another programming language was used? – appears then to be a very inefficient language. I laughed pretty hard when I read a previous post about "launch experience" for Java.
    And I must agree with the poster who asked you to eat crow and reverse this very, very poor decision. Undoing it is the right thing to do.

  259. Bill

    Hey Jonathan,did you ever hear so many "whiners" in your life? You have forgotten more than all of us have ever known!!! 8>)

  260. paoloq

    JAVA is the best, that’s all.
    JAVA is the best "child" of SUN, so I agree with Jonathan.
    Broadcast the JAVA name, everywhere šŸ™‚
    Keep improving it.
    I suggest to move swing desktop app inside the web, without using Servlet, JSP or others. Please, see the Echo2Framework. Ok?

  261. seananderson

    I’m sure this is a joke people. An elaborate prank, end of story. He’s going to come back tomorrow and be like, "Gotcha!". Isn’t it obvious?

  262. Anonymous

    What a divisive act, and one which is clearly unpopular with your employees.
    Everyone who is not Java related at Sun should get their coat on now, the writing is on the Wall St. Once the company starts making weasel marketing moves like this, the next step is defend increased profit simply from Sun’s IP portfolio, stop investing in innovation, atrophy, the end.
    It’s one way of getting the message across internally I guess.

  263. Blogasaurus

    Any company that centers itself around one language is doomed for failure. Please reverse this, and embrace open standards, choice, and not just a captive and limiting platform.

  264. Alistair

    Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it. Remember Inprise? Borland wiped out there brand overnight on the whim of a business consultant/analyst/whatever. Looks like the thin edge of the wedge to me. You’re playing dangerous games with your brand.

  265. Markus

    An utterly ridiculous idea. "Sun" is a brand that stands for solidly engineered large systems hardware. "Java" is an ever-changing Hype: it stands for applets — no, for desktop applications — no, for web applications — no, for middleware services — who knows what comes next?
    For most "end users" java is the technology that slows down their browsers and phones.
    Diluting your brand is never a good idea.

  266. Mathew Hennessy

    Horrible, HORRIBLE idea. On par with SGI losing the hypercube logo or any company ever buying stadium naming rights.
    Will there be a hack in the package manager that will permit SUNW and JAVA packages to live side by side and handle stuff like dependencies and such? Or will there be an official package management overhaul (or at least built-in pkg-get)?
    Please, PLEASE don’t get distracted by something this trivial.

  267. nobody

    Also, I believe very strongly that if anyone wants to make suggestions to Sun they should know how to install and configure Solaris systems, program in Java and know the specs of the latest Sparcs by heart. Don’t let outsiders influence you. I don’t even know all the specs or how to program in Java that well. So don’t even listen to me. Listen to the real technical leaders in your company.. Hell, become one, because its cool, seriously.. This is UNIX, we know this.. And there’s no reason anyone shouldn’t. Never let them tell you otherwise. And stop listening to me. šŸ™‚

  268. lmf

    Don’t know if JAVA is the best choice, but agree that SUNW is badly outdated. I don’t see a lot of other suggestions here. Just comments from people who don’t like Java.
    Does it really matter that much?

  269. Dean

    Reminds be of Steve Job’s Macintosh release beachparty in the eighties to really rub it into the Apple II team that they are not really of value to him anymore…

  270. What a blow!
    You want to put the whole Java community against you?!?
    For years the biggest argument of Java in any project was that it was vendor-neutral and there where several suppliers for the technology.
    Java and Sun are two different things. We like Sun as the proud company that created and nurtured Java. Like a proud father, you seemed to be letting go of your creation in the past months. Now you want to reverse all that with a marketing stunt like that? What a disappointment!

  271. Kemp Watson

    3rd post, so sorry but this has me riled up. What a reaction from the crowd!
    Option 1: There’s a terrible problem at the highest levels in Sun if this goes through. I won’t add why, there’s a raft of very intelligent posts already.
    Option 2: Jonathan’s been very clever; the mktg dept has just exposed themselves as utter morons, and now he has the ammo to replace the whole lot šŸ™‚
    Perhaps now that Apple has abandoned "Computer" to make consumer gadgets, Sun could grab the word and replace the aging "Microsystems" to make Sun Computer, which seems a far more fitting handle than Java for a computer/systems company. Dull, but accurate and respectable.

  272. Matthew

    What a backward move, branding the company to one particular (free) set of technologies that doesn’t truly represent the whole company, except in the minds of the PR folks. I guess Microsoft missed the boat years ago when they could have taken the ticker symbol WDOS. And Ford could have had EDSL.

  273. Fred Forte

    In my opinion, the subtle but clear message that the ticker change is sending to Wall Street is that Sun is in the process of de-emphasizing its hardware business and focusing on a business model built around software licensing as well as support/indemnification for FOSS distros. This may cause people to look deeper into the IBM announcement and see it as a harbinger that Sun is taking steps to quiesce its HW business while ceding the increasingly low-margin HW deals to others. I’m not sure if any of this is true and I’m not commenting on the merits of such a strategy — but if these were my first thoughts, I’m sure others have had the same reaction. Surely Sun’s focus groups surfaced this line of thinking – and the fact that they went ahead with the change is insightful. Whether this is a good move or not depends on what message Sun is trying to send and whether the target audience interprets the move as such.

  274. Was the ticker SELL not available?

  275. small-time investor

    It is certainly interesting how much of a response this move is getting. Some of the most intelligent comments I have read on blogs in a long time! Clearly it’s not the end user with java on their cellphone concerned about this change, but professionals, sun employees and – investors!.
    I can’t remember the last time a company changed their name OR stock symbol to a product of theirs. No matter if it’s good or not – products have lifecycles. Success is fleeting. What if there had been a stock symbol ‘COBL’? Or, while we’re at it ‘LOGO’. Heck, not even Apple would use IPOD as it would be seen as a limiting, dumb move, no matter how good or successful the product is now. Is sun going to rename every few years? What happens when Java has run (walked) its course? Maybe SBUX will be interested in picking it up…

  276. Are you kidding?

    With the promotion of Rock, maybe the ticker symbol can be ROCK instead. Solid as a rock (or sink like a rock?)

  277. Bert

    Ask a teenager if they know about Java??? Are you kidding? I don’t know what teenagers he is referring to, but the ones I know (including my own son) think it’s coffee.
    I guess if you really haven’t a clue how to fix the company, you just focus this lame and costly idea.
    For the record, the only reason I know about Java is because I worked at Sun for many years. Thank God I got a package.

  278. Lost its way

    Since Java is free, we should be renamed to "FREE". Now that will really get attention of investors who are so dumb to invest based on ticker symbols. Comparing Sun’s stock price to all its peers, DELL, IBM, HPQ, MSFT, INTL, CSCO, …., SUNW still stuck in its 1990 price. Taking into account of inflation, … SUNW stock is almost FREE!!! Good work, Jonathan. Good work, board of directors for sleeping on the job.

  279. Edward Watson

    Yes! I could not applaud this move more. CLEARLY the barrier to sun’s stock price was their limiting stock symbol! Now that’s fixed! I can hear them asking for ‘gimme 10000 Java’ on the floor of Wall Street. The very order will energize traders and make morning coffee obsolete, and get all people to finally move stock. I mean, they wouldn’t have touched sunw. Trading volume will go through the roof.
    Why not co-brand with SBC or Starbucks? Get 1 Java with 2 Starbucks?! Institutions will love it!
    Sun could go Disney and frame stock certificates, and adorn them with little Java beans. Finally, the possibilites are endless!

  280. Jonny: Pretty ballsy enabling comments on your blog. Bill Gates wouldn’t do that! Must be the midlife-crisis-ponytail thing. Y’know, "It’s about freedom, maaaaaaaan. Like, it’s expression. I wanna get *all* the vibes. We’re like, all one."
    All hail the ponytail.
    PS I have to do math to post a comment? Have you seen the latest exit exam results?

  281. startup

    A waste of time and money. I don’t have much love for Java – love Solaris and the hardware, but no use for Java except silly mobile phone widgets. What’s the point? That’s hardly the dot in dot com. And Web 2.0 is all about agility and fast development – not creaky old "enterprise" stuff like Java.
    Bad karma there.
    But hell, why not, fresh start and all. Me, I’d love to buy more Sun gear, and I will the minute you allow me to buy directly from you and not pay double the price through your ridiculous VAR system. I don’t want a VAR, I don’t want some retailer’s "help", I just want the damn hardware at a good price and guess what, if I want the help I’ll pay extra for it. But I don’t want the help, because I guarantee my guys are better than the VAR’s.
    Sun is crazy for not selling to the startups and small operations. Sure we look like small fry, we are. But the number of us has got to be astronomical. Why Sun, WHY won’t you sell to small operations directly?
    Lose the cancerous institutional arrogance Sun, start doing what is best for you. Put ALL your hardware on your online shop at cost price plus 20%, tell the VARs that if customers really want their services they’ll pay extra for it and if not get lost, and man I am THERE credit card in hand in about 10 minutes flat. Same with plenty of others. Why the hell do you make it so difficult??
    Bah. I’m wasting my time. Yeah, JAVA, whatever … SUN used to mean innovation and quality to me .. now it means a stodgy beureacracy who deserves to be cut down to size. Sad, really, but I guess we’ve still got HP …

  282. If SUNW is going to become JAVA, then MSFT should become PSOD.
    Seriously, instead of all this nonsense, you should realize the real reason the stock is in the tank is not lack of recognition. It is because you are focused on making the quarterly numbers rather than on keeping your customers happy and putting out great products. If you keep your customers happy, and put out great products, you’ll win brand recognition and make money. End of story.

  283. Grande latte

    I think "LATE" (short for latte) can be a good ticker symbol. It’s frothy. It’s not. It has a shot of Java. My favorite drink!

  284. Greg Mann

    It’s interesting that the comments are so heated. An ineffective move would have yielded an apathetic response.

  285. Cuppa Joe

    I hope JAVA opens at $1.95, because that’s what it sells for at SBUX.

  286. I Will Give It a Chance

    My knee-jerk reaction is "Awkward!". I’m still recovering from the product line name "Java Desktop System" – confusing and maligning; a pretentious over-the-top mischaracterization at best.
    Changing the ticker symbol to JAVA — Who knows? That’s different. Maybe it will catch the eye of investors who think more like rich golfers trading on the sound of novelty. I’ll assume you know the market and what sells better than us engineers who feel personally attached to the nature of our technology. Engineering is not marketing. You don’t tell us how to engineer, we don’t tell you how to lure in the big fish.
    If this shakes things up; people see a new symbol "JAVA", and think Java means "cool!" (Whether it’s coffee, software or an island near an erupting volcano), fantastic! The investors with $ are not necessarily the snobs who hate Java because they’ve run ‘truss’ on it. Jonathan – it seems like a gamble, but I’m willing to trust for now you gave it a lot of thought and that this could pay off. Some of the best ideas historically have been loathed by the pundits, at first.

  287. tr

    Couple of comments. First, you say "…employees, aren’t expenses, they’re investments". Then how will the announced headcount reduction save expenses?
    Second, I can’t imagine changing the stock ticker will provide value to anyone anywhere anytime.

  288. Starbucks

    It’s an excellent name. Notice that Starbuck has been raising price recently. So, if you hear on CNN, "price of a cup of java is going up", stupid investors will rush to buy some Sun stock.
    Smart move.
    And if there’s an earthquake in Java, and you hear on CNN, "US government is sending aid to Java", stupid investors will rush to buy some Sun stock.
    Again. Smart move.

  289. Brian

    Wow, Mr. Schwartz. Don’t you have better things to do and spend your stockholder’s money on than this blunder? Maybe a way to actually increase stockholder equity and save some JOBS for sun employees at the same time? How many pieces of reduced workforce does it cost to change ones’ stock ticker? I am sure it’s mere cents. Right? Right?

  290. Premium Coffee

    Hey, even McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts are pushing premium coffee, why should Sun do so? Look at the market cap of McDonalds. Not bad. Plenty of upside. I’d like to buy 5 millions shares of JAVA (along with that my Brooklyn Bridge).

  291. Yikes. I think the Sun world is in for some problems with this one. Nothing like killing ALL of the other Sun brands in one felled marketing swoop…
    Sun has some of the most kick butt hardware and OS out there, which have all just been marginalized in a move set by marketing.
    And congratulations on adding more confusion for folks. I can hear it now: "So you work for JAVA now? What part of Java do you work on?"
    "Oh, well, I don’t really work on Java at all, I work in… which has nothing to do with Java."
    "oh, OK (insert confused looks), well good luck with that then…"
    I worked for Sun for almost 10 years, and chose to leave, not waiting for the layoff packages. With this kind of move, I can confidently say I made the best move of my career by leaving. Good luck. Hope this works out for you…

  292. alipschitz

    The best thing about Sun changing their stock symbol from SUNW to JAVA is that every single developer who has contributed to the Java platform will be receiving a percentage of shares of the company…
    What? We’re not?
    Oooh. IBM must be furious!

  293. You know… When 30% of the traffic to comes to them when "java" is searched for… well, it makes a good deal of sense to make sure your stock ticker appears in the search results too. Marketing has trumped the nostalgic and the more I think on this the more it makes a gob of sense. This could turn out to be really huge! (I bet Bill Joy and Kim Polese are getting a good chuckle)
    It’s not like they took Microsystems out of the name or anything… Sheesh! (Only slightly sorry for the jab at AAPL)

  294. turtle

    is the name change putting too many eggs in one basket?

  295. MH, a Sun Employee

    Very interesting move. Here’s my 2 cents (if you get this far reading all the comments). People already associate Sun with SPARC, Workstations, Solaris, etc, but not with Java and vice versa.
    People do not associate Sun with Java. MORE IMPORTANTLY, people do not associate Java with Sun. Changing the ticker symbol will mitigate the first problem to some extent as far as the investing community goes (which is pretty much who we are targetting – people with money). However, it goes no further in making people who know Java (a much larger community) associate it with Sun. In my view, adding the words "Java, by Sun" somewhere in the Java logo would go a much longer distance.
    All the publicity that the name chnage has generated does address both the issues, but it is a short-term effect which will die out in a week or two.
    On a side note, I will no longer be able to search for SUNW on to get Sun-related stock news since searching for JAVA will give much more news than I care about. šŸ˜¦

  296. I hope this is the one in the long list of changes that will hopefully transform the company. Best of luck.

  297. Leigh Chapman

    "…but I’d bet more people know Sun via OpenOffice than know us through datatcenters. "
    The CEO of a major company. Blog or not, still corporate communications. But they couldn’t quite manage a copyedit? Or do I just not know the word "datatcenters?"

  298. anagogue

    Wow. I feel physically ill reading this.
    SUNW is the symbol for Sun, and always has been. Changing the ticker symbol will do NOTHING to spark investment. Most casual investors (ones who would be swayed by a ticker symbol rather than actual financial data) never even see the ticker symbol, they see the name of the company displayed on their investment website. The casual investor isn’t who Sun should be looking to court, anyway.
    As others have said, DON’T DO IT!!!

  299. andre

    Sure they (competitors) are furious. Think about Apple change the stock to something like IPHONE at the day of launch instead of keep the boring AAPL. Also, JAVA is everywhere, to stay. Sun, keep the good work!

  300. viv

    Read this comment after 1 year and you will realize the mistake[however smart you will feel after reading comment].
    I am a Java professional-Still I think this is one of the idiotic decisions .Sun gets little revenue from Java and Java is NOT its core business and it cant be its core business as there are already well established players in application business.Now that Java is open sourced this seems even more idiotic .
    For a person to be success full,he has to cash on its strength not weakness!!Same applies to Sun.
    Although, I am an outsider but here is my take:
    Rather than trying to market Java as flagship,Sun should have marketed Java as ONE of the product.There are various superb hardware products which sun could have marketed.Sun has failed in its marketing and NOT in in its technical ability.
    I DONT see any problem in Suns technical team at all.I would be the last person to doubt on Sun’s teachnical team ability.
    I see problem in Sun’s marketing department.They should be revamped completely.It is they who have failed to market "concepts" and products.And they have lost several of these opportunities.[Remember Linux?]

  301. Garance

    Let me make sure my previous reply is clear about how I feel: I do not think this is a "bad" move. I don’t think it will harm Sun. At the same time, I don’t see how it is going to help Sun all that much, if the only thing which is changing is the ticker symbol.
    Some other comments have suggested that this change shows that Sun is moving into software as well as hardware. I guess I can see how that might be helpful, although I still think there must be other ways which would do a better job at that.

  302. mcyang

    The real difference between SUNW and JAVA is that SUNW has no meaning beyond ID while JAVA does. SUN created JAVA technology which became the foundation of Enterprise, Internet and Cell phone industries of this new century. SUN shared that generously with the world while gained little respect or direct financial reward. Yes, SUN has plenty other products and services. But none of them has such a grand scale of influence or impact to the rest of world. It is about time that SUN should get some respect from world, starting from the stock shareholders. Each time they type JAVA ticker symbol, they have to think and pay tribute to the JAVA creator – SUN. It has embeded great meaning to the ticker symbol. It is plain wonderful.
    Now you all repeat after me – JAVA JAVA JAVA JAVA JAVA JAVA JAVA. Try it, you would like it.

  303. As a long time Java Developer and SUNW shareholder, it is often frustrated to see Java is everywhere but SUNW stock is going nowhere. Best of luck with the change.

  304. nick l.

    I’m in the minority as well.
    But the change make perfect sense… just ask Google… If you search for Java, Google will return 237,000,000 hits! search SUNW will return a measly 2,420,000! even the ubiquitous Windows is nowhere near the B mark!
    The search hit is just one aspect of the whole equation, but that gives you an idea how big Java is! so if somebody (think of younger generations) searching for Java chances are Sun will always be associated to it, and will be the topmost result. Brilliant! just brilliant!
    By the way, other search engine shows same result!

  305. John

    It would be better if this stock sticker would have been for forked out company from Sun called as Java Systems and Engineering.

  306. Who cares what the stock ticker symbol is? And as for those who say Java is bloated and slow, you sound like Microsoft stooges. The software that my company writes just screams on Java; both desktop and server. Why don’t you get off of Java 1.2, or stop shilling for Gates.

  307. khash

    Yes, smart smart decision but you are aiming at the hearts too much (on purpose for good but unconsciously you hurt all the Sunnies who were holding up Sun’s banner in the bad times and now as the company is rising again and now as they just started to feel confirmed in their heroic withstanding, you are slapping them in the face with their old useless banner. You tell them, guys you are ready for retirement.
    If you would concentrate merely on symbolic acts, like that one, a maximum attainable effect at the stock exchange would be a small bursting bubble.
    Many people think: Java is great (send me a shirt) but Sun as a whole is greater. You should be proud of it. So, how do you dare ?
    Because you are smart, idealistic, looking for "the greater good".
    Sometimes it needs people, changing old venerable symbols to new venerable symbols.
    So your message is simple: It’s time to rise not to moan.
    Soon they will understand. But you have to try to gather your followers behind you.

  308. Software Guy

    I like the move, because people don’t associate Java with Sun. Sun IS the JAVA Company (as Sun created it), and now Sun is much more than Workstations. Maybe SUNJava would have contented more people, but JAVA alone is ok.
    I expect this means much more focus in Sun Software (Maybe a new division, as with Microelectronics?)

  309. In general, I don’t think there’s a reason to get too worked up about it. I outlined it in my blog, you’re welcome to read it at:

  310. The the haters: Give me a break. Sun Doesn’t have much else going on. Sun had a reputation for power-house computing. Their workstations, even the ones built on the X86 platform, are among the best performers. But those days are gone. Think of the audience for this change: Stock Brokers — they could care less what it’s called, just that it makes money. Developers? Developers already know that Java is SUNs baby and so they don’t care. The change is more for the lay person. I think this is just an acknowledgment of reality.

  311. Sun stockholder

    It will be great if you focus on running Sun’s business well rather than doing gimmicky stuff–such as web-based PR releases and blogs (and making huge noise about it) and changing stock ticker symbols. Seems you are running out of depth here.

  312. nobody

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The worst part of all of this is that the executives will read all of these comments, promptly ignore them because they "know better", pat themselves on the back because they think this is an "radical marketing move" and everyone else just looks at them with a sense of incredulity.

  313. Anil

    I think this is a waste of money. How much does it cost to change the ticker symbol and everything with it? *Investors* don’t care about what the symbol name is called. *Techies* all know that Java is made by Sun. *Regular* people think of coffee, when they see Java. Programming languages don’t live forever and Java won’t either. A lot of people don’t like JavaFX, they are opting for other better things! When Sun makes good products… money, investors, growth will follow – not because of the stock’s ticker name. When Sun first release Galaxy boxes and things like ZFS, market share grew because people liked them. If anything, changing Sun’s company name would have a bigger impact. (I am not saying, changing it to Java systems, Inc.) The symbol has no meaning or relevance!
    Since Sun is all about "open"-ness, we should get a company name to reflect that. THAT has a bigger impact to the customers, than a ticket symbol changing to Java… how sad that Sun changed this w/o much thinking. I think I might sell some shares too because of this… Sun is not using its money correctly.

  314. Ados

    If you want to change I agree with others, "OPEN" is a much better 4 letters word to represent what Sun does in the IT world…Otherwise, please let SUNW there…
    Let us vote, who prefers OPEN more than JAVA ?

  315. [Trackback] As my friend Jonathan (Sun Microsystems CEO) states on his blog at , Sun Microsystems is changing their stock symbol from “SUNW” to “JAVA”.
    Read other people’s commen…

  316. ValenciaPoultry

    Look at the number of comments and hits on this entry….Jonathan usually gets less than 50 comments per entry, after a day this one has 300+.
    Looks to me like the strategy is already working.
    Keep up the good work!

  317. Sai

    Jonathan, I think there is something more to it than what is being revealed to us here. I like the energy you have bought to SUN. Looking at the number of comments here at least you are making people start talking about SUN once again after a very long time. All the best to you, JAVA and Sun.

  318. Anonymous

    Egad. Waste of cash, waste of time. More proof that Sun is in love with its products, not its customers.
    How about, instead of these fanfares that have nothing to do with what matters to customers, try this: Help us find the latest BIOS update for one of your products from within the cluttered maze of (In 2 logical clicks or less, or by entering something like "X2200 BIOS Update" in the search field and actually geting a link to the update file?)

  319. I hate to say this, but I have to agree with the negative reaction. Java’s brand name isn’t as hot as it once was. While it’s still strong in the B2B and server-side world, the examples you gave of the consumer don’t help your point.
    Try this: Turn off Java in your web browser, and see how many popular web sites still work. It’s mostly AJAX (Google Maps) and Flash (Youtube) these days. Now take a java-based phone, and see when the cup shows up. Last I recall, it was only visible during the "Please Wait" loading screens. This is not a good mental attachment to make.
    Those of us who are in the tech industry already know Sun, and the name change only makes us fear your existing the OS, hardware, server, and all other non-Java-based products. But what’s done is done. Best of luck.

  320. Ravi

    I consistently hear from you that sun is for openness and it is going to help sun in some form that you dont expect. But with this change one thing you are saying is, oh community has built me a brand, let me use it. You are using up the good will built from open ness. Thats kind of punch from the back at community. Now it seems some of the reservations sun competitors had with pre installed java are not false.
    Some time back I wanted to ask you this question, why is sun not dumping Java. Everything with SUN is fast expect for Java. I know you are not changing the company name to Java but why to get assocaited with something that is not helping sun..

  321. Brilliant move. SUNW as a stock doesn’t role off the tongue. Sun Microsystems doesn’t brand well. Java is an instant brand we all know.
    Now, this will do nothing if there isn’t a coherent strategy behind it.
    As someone who owns both Apple and Sun, worked at NeXT and Apple; and used Lighthouse Tools I’m hoping Sun will be smart enough to do something with the engineering behind this company other than just powerful systems tools.

  322. I think this is a genius move that shows the value of a symbol, or if you prefer brand!
    Like Umberto Eco, and many other semioticists dedicated in the marketing field stated, the brand is nothing without the observer. The perceptual value of the brand is greater than the value of the tangible thing.
    Whenever people associate Java with Sun, the company just has to win, even if the person doesn’t know what the Sun’s acronym means, but Java is present in his daily life.
    Other aspect is that the brand has its own life cycle, if you don’t make modification in the time and follow the changes, ocurs a brand entropy (this is from my girlfriend) :).
    Much of the people who read this, including me as a Java consulter and instructor in Brazil, are related to this technology in some level. So for this mind-view we know the company, and have a natural tendency of ‘resistance’.
    However if you think a little harder will see that the change just has positive aspects.
    Godspeed NASDAQ:JAVA !!!

  323. Good idea, but ONLY if executed right.
    Some of Jonathan’s points have merit. Full disclosure: I worked for Sun for 16 years. But if it weren’t for that, investors like my dad wouldn’t know "Sun"… but he certainly knows "Java". So there is indeed value in the Java brand. But to limit the servers, desktops, storage, etc., folks with that moniker is, well, limiting.
    If this is a sign that the company will split, and sell off the hardware to IBM and/or Fujitsu, leaving Java, Solaris, and StarOffice, it could make sense. They could be a much more profitable, but smaller (revenue and employees) company (JavaSoft), and companies like HP, etc., would be happier to work with them, knowing they aren’t a systems company.
    So, if that’s the plan, then it’s a good move (though perhaps premature…I’d have announced the split and ticker simultaneously), but then why did Jonathan preach the benefits of buying StorageTek? So right now, it’s confusing. I hope for Sun, I mean JavaSoft’s sake, it plays out well.

  324. Lee Hepler

    Hi Jonathan, I find it amazing how many comments you are getting on changing the symbol to JAVA. This seems like one of the least interesting or even important technical, management or legal issues you’ve ever posted. You are probably right in thinking that the average investor will be more likely to recognize and purchase SUN stock but only time will tell. It would be interesting to see if the stock purchasing demographics change with the ticker symbol change. Please do take a look at the previous demographic and comment on the new demographic after a year or so of exposure to the new symbol.

  325. Matthew

    I think SUNM would make more sense.

  326. ValenciaPoultry
    <i>Looks to me like the strategy is already working.</i>
    If by working you mean ‘holding up a company for ridicule’ then yes, it is.

  327. Bluevoter

    I assume that this change required approval of Sun’s Board. What were they (and perhaps you) smoking? I can’t imagine them spending time on this issue when there are so many other critical strategic issues facing our company (spoken as a shareholder). Perhaps it’s time to replace some of the Board members…. I can hardly wait to receive my proxy next year. You and Scott will get my vote, but I’m strongly tempted at this point to vote against management and against the other holdover Board candidates. That’s the best way for us poor shareholders to express our disapproval at the SUNW -> JAVA change.

  328. Vlad

    To ValenciaPoultry:
    If someone does an incredibly dumb move, true supporters will be shocked and express their feelings in an attempt to stop these idiotic marketing moves. Getting a lot of responses doesn’t mean what you’re doing is right.
    Please remember user’s comments when Sun retired Solaris for x86 – there were lots of comments and the move was dumb, as proved by Sun itself when they reversed it, only after losing precious time.

  329. Carolyn

    GEEEEEEZ…..What a bunch of nay-sayers!! This is a great idea. They aren’t changing the company…it’s the TICKER SYMBOL that is changing. The name JAVA will bring a positive familiarity to Sun Microsystems. I own some stock, and I can’t wait for Monday to watch it skyrocket!!

  330. Better Sun Tomorrow

    How about FREE!

  331. I agreed this changing from SUNW to JAVA , do you know why ?
    because i am Java Developer , I Love JAVA , I Will Tech JAVA , I Will make ERP by JAVA , I Will open company use JAVA , I will open training center Tech JAVA and I will marry JAVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA ……………

  332. Madhu

    Please listen to your customers before changing something thats fundamental to Sun Microsystems – SUNW. You claim that Java touches everyone. How many of the so called Java-touched users really understand the significance of a JVM ???? Java has a presence only in the developers world.
    End users care about the functionality of the application and not the technology upon which the application is based. I think someone corrupted your thought process – time to run garbage collection on your marketing department.
    Whats wrong with SUNW in the first place ? SUNW personifies the star SUN which radiates the power of technology to sustain the computing world. Its beautiful.

  333. David loves the world

    Jon, good news. I am fine your move. After all, it’s just a ticker symbol change.
    But I have to warn you one thing. Do not put too much faith on Java. It’s just a programming language. A programming language is not going to get you (more important your shareholders) rich. I can run all my web business without Java. If you really want to profit from software, FORGET about Java. Build some cool software applications that every company wants. Software like Oracle database, VMware, SAP or even Turbo tax. Software that people will pay for.
    And please make Solaris more user-friendly. After all these years, Solaris installation still asks for swap size! Come on man. Unix has been developed for almost 40 years and I still need to worry about the swap size??!!

  334. Shareholder

    People will look back in a year and say this was brilliant. Remember, people thought the iPOD was stupid when it was first released.

  335. Sun Fan

    I love the Java Logo !! It’s hot and will continue to be so…

  336. Saul Pladen

    Sounds excellent!
    . o 0 { Borland → Inprise → Inprise/ → Borland/Inprise → Borland }

  337. John Wagner

    I am not much in favor of the ticker change; however, I am working around developers as a System Administrator and what use to be true about Java as ‘Big’, ‘Fat’, ‘Bloated’, and ‘Slow’ is NOT true anymore for a long time now. I had worked for few midsize companies (in SFBay) using and developing in Java (and JSP, Servlet, Swing, SWT, etc) Java is fast and it’s very secure in comparison, look not further, to php, Visual Basic, etc. I do think that SUN is not very strong in public relation and advertisement; but with, community support, business partnerships JAVA is and will be growing.
    For the end, the change of the ticker is a bad idea. Put the money in marketing, development (JavaFX), (community projects),, It’s a waste to put money were the Java product speaks for itself – it’s excellent. It works for my past and current employers and it works for me.
    By the way, why not seven strokes for the Java logo? šŸ™‚

  338. Wasn’t there a picture of the OpenOffice splash screen? (btw. it’s, maybe we should think of renaming, if there are no legal problems with that. It’s really tedious to alsways use the ".org" in the name) Was it too large? Was it too old? There are also smaller versions of OOo logos available, if size was the problem.

  339. RE

    You should have named it BABE !
    after the hexadecimal number CAFEBABE that is used to identify Java class files.

  340. Should have been SUNJ
    Then Sun JAVA and Jonathon.
    Only in California…

  341. RJS

    "When something like this happens how does the Wisdom of Crowds apply?" (quoting a previous comment)
    My thought exactly. This would be an excellent opportunity to show that the CEO is capable of listening to a better source of wisdom than the small circle of people up in the rarified atmosphere where this idea was formed (I would hate to think that it was all Jonathan’s) and that he is a bidirectional blogger.
    How is this going to affect the parties that have to keep working with Sun (or with Java, for that matter) to make this the platform significant enough to be considered a brand at all? Sun giveth (GPL), then Sun taketh away (you all work for my greater glory now).
    The biggest concern here is that this cannot possibly be an isolated move, it is almost certain to forebode a return to the already failed and ridiculed addition of "Java" to just about anything, like the "Java Desktop System". It has already been proved impossible to leverage the Java "brand" that way, so why try again? Please give us more substance and less renaming mania (except for actually getting rid of "Java" where it does not belong).
    If it is at all possible to reverse the ticker change, please do so!

  342. Jake

    This is what I submitted:
    Jonathan, listen – you got CEO job, for that company at that time gave you HUGE, and i mean HUGE raise even at the time when others were being "let go". At that time all SUN employees were against that you got raise BEFORE showing what you can do. (And people I do not talk about small change here either).
    We were all holding our breath waiting for a miracle to happen that was worth so much money. And then….. we Got it! Hurrah – 9 words.
    Common!!! do you know how much money it is per word??? Give me 10% of that per word and i will write you "War and Peace".
    Let me see…. now your 9 words did not turn the company around, all the executives that only know how to play politics and buffer the scorecards and now you think THIS WILL DO IT??????
    you are a joke together with your marketing department and guy in charge of sales and services.

  343. manish

    Sounds like putting a name sign ‘tusks’ in front of an elephant in a zoo. Though its just a case of freedom of expression and theoretically nothing wrong with it. If one such particular expression is to be projected as complete personality of an entity(organization) then let it be.

  344. Average Joe

    This is a good move that I can’t believe is getting this much slack from people. The ticker symbol is marketing, plain and simple. The fact remains more everyday users have heard of JAVA than Sun. I can query my non-tech friends and the few that have heard of Sun only knew it as the maker of Java. Java the thing they see everyday on their phone and the internets, they never really think about the JVM or what java is…they just know they see it all the time.
    Sun still has customer care issues, specifically some of their web-site design. They also have some great innovations. But none of this has to do with the ticker symbol change, which will be less about expressing the full array of Sun products…and more about grabbing the investors eye with a term they are familiar with so that maybe they take a closer look and invest.

  345. Java is fantastic from an application architect’s point of view. Over a period of time, better IDEs, Javascript libraries that you can code as Java (Google Web Toolkit), and open source applications (Daffodil CRM) have made it easy for developers and architects to develop and design systems.
    The issues with Java adoption seem to be the lack of shared J2EE container hosting providers (there are tons of IIS and Apache hosting providers in the marketplace providing these services).
    It is debatable whether changing the ticker symbol would work wonders, but if it means that the company is changing direction towards facilitating increased Java adoption, this may be a good thing.

  346. oh well

    Sun is in serious need of an activist shareholder.

  347. Dear Jonathan Schwartz,
    Over half of the 335 comments on your most significant move as CEO so far, are in protest. Shows that your Executives and customers and investors are involved, and they care.
    The salesman can’t read code, because he did not spend a lifetime learning code. He learnt something else instead. The converse is also true. The code writers can’t read the subtleties of what goes on in the human mind. Marketing is all about the battle for a place in the consumer’s mind. That is all about what is in a name.
    Java as a name is bigger and larger than Coca Cola and Sun has to say Java in bold. On the news ticker and everywhere. How many people around the world will recognize and RELATE a name such as the Bottling Company of Atlanta if Coca Cola were to have decided to call its corporation by that name instead of Coca Cola Inc.?
    Good, very good that you have brought the Java name to the forefront. You are releasing pieces of a brilliant Jigsaw puzzle, piece after piece, over the last 3 months from what I have followed, and the master plan is not so easily visualized. You don’t just mean a change of name on the ticker. The implied focus on the Java name is not so easily understood.
    Changing SUNW to JAVA is a move that might have drawn protests or even derided, but it is a valuable decision that will have so much impact over time that your competitors would already have become nervous.
    28.3% of the world’s population is under 14 years and 17.9% between 15 and 24 years. That makes it approximately 44% under 24 years of age. Add half of the remaining 56% to approximately include population of people between 25 and 45 years, it becomes 72% of all world covered. This is the Java generation. The Java demographics vis-à-vis SUNW demographics is pretty impressive.
    If the change of SUNW symbol has given you a hundred angry comments, imagine what is in store for you in situations where you would try to change something about Java, after Java is adopted as a ticker symbol, as the dominant Sun brand….
    I read somewhere so many years ago, I don’t remember from where and I don’t know if it true, Coca Cola once announced that it was going to change the formula for coke or make some inherent change in Coca Cola. Some consumers threatened to sue or actually sued Coca Cola on the grounds that Coca Cola Inc does not have a right to make changes in Coca Cola. Coca Cola has become a part of one’s life, people in America grew up with Coca Cola, and it has become a part of American culture. It was a customer paying 5 cents a bottle telling the Corporate Board that it had no right over the name or over the product. The consumer emotionally and morally owned the product and the name. Coca Cola yielded.
    Java is beyond America, it is around the world, and is consumed ten times as much as Coca Cola by ten times as many people everyday.
    Sun has touched the lives of a billion and a half people or more so far, but from now on it will do business with, directly and indirectly, as many people and more. After loading Java on the ticker, put the java name on the New York Times front page, Time back cover, HBO prime time and everywhere online. The Java Powered logo and the Java Loading animation are not enough. Call HBO and write a cheque for a quarter of a billion dollars if that is what it takes, and hit the street with Java devices. Shy?

  348. [Trackback]
    Sun’s president, Jonathan Schwartz, waxes nostalgic on Sun’s position and value to the world in his blog post the other day ‘Java is everywhere‘. In it he goes on to talk about awareness&nbsp;of SUN and their technologies by t…

  349. Kemp Watson

    >> "Look at the number of comments and hits on this entry…. Jonathan usually gets less than 50 comments per entry, after a day this one has 300+. Looks to me like the strategy is already working."
    Indeed it is – I’m reducing my position as I write. I’m behind Solaris, SPARC, and Sun hardware (except storage), and think hanging anything onto Java is a flash in the pan.
    >> "Hi Jonathan, I find it amazing how many comments you are getting on changing the symbol to JAVA. This seems like one of the least interesting or even important technical, management or legal issues you’ve ever posted."
    In its actual implementation it’s a near non-event, but it says worlds about the thought processes going on at the helm, and that’s what most posters are fired up about. This is the biggest atom bomb yet posted to this blog.
    >> "This would be an excellent opportunity to show that the CEO is capable of listening to a better source of wisdom than the small circle of people up in the rarified atmosphere where this idea was formed"
    Hear! Hear!

  350. Keith

    After thinking about it for awhile, I am now optimistic about the decision.
    There still remains a lot of anger in the markets toward SUNW. A lot of people lost money when the stock fell so far and painfully. People who recommended it were burned, and they are very reluctant recommend it again.
    Well, now there won’t be a SUNW to kick around anymore. It is probably time to shed that baggage.

  351. Haren Visavadia

    If I were CEO of Sun, I’d pick "SUN" as stock symbol and promote the Sun brand to investors.
    Using "JAVA" as symbols, really does question Sun as the steward of Java Platform and especially the Java "Community" Process.

  352. Matt Edwards

    Changing your ticker symbol to SUNJ seems like a more sensible, wholistic and nostalgic choice. But investors are not a fickle bunch — they care about money not the alphabet. Sorry Jon, I’m still a fan of yours but this does not appear to me to be a worthwhile move. Perhaps I’m overreacting — how much does changing a ticker symbol cost anyway? Please tell us it’s a lightweight process, i.e., A meeting, a press release, some inconsequential Exchange paperwork, and maybe a blog entry šŸ™‚

  353. A happy JAVA investor

    Nobody yet seems to realize how important Java is to your overall CMT strategy. In order to benefit from all these threads and transactional memory (e.g. Rock), you’ll need a virtual machine that can fully capitalize on the technologies – and that’s where your JVM comes in. So, yes I can completely see why you are focusing energy and attention on Java. Java is crucial to Sun Microsystems’ success over a 10 year horizon so I’m completely behind your move from SUNW to JAVA.

  354. Anonymous

    Surprised; I’d prefer netw

  355. java

    Well, somehow i love Java, but Sun has been a bad company, it could have done a great number of things, but unfortunately it has brought itself down…

  356. Steve Jobs

    I wear black shirts and jeans every day of my life. Consistency matters!
    Keep the SUN, replace the ‘W’ with ‘J’ava.
    My vote = SunJ.
    SHOW your new friends YOU LISTEN, contrary to Maverick.
    Come on Luke!

  357. Jack Welch

    Close your eyes and think of an auto company that produces the safest car in the world —
    Volvo -right?
    Volvo won’t change their ticker to "SAFETY" –
    Although the world relates them to safety. Do you get it?
    Preserve BRANDING.

  358. Boy was that stupid. It might have made sense ten years ago, or even five years ago, but to do this now? Weird.

  359. Go Get Gold! šŸ™‚
    To make developers happy, you should improve Java a lot … I believe you’ve already been trying to do so.
    To make investors and non-techies and end-users and the general public feel Sun, your decision this time is a good thing. Just keep ball rolling and never lose momentum.
    God luck, mate!

  360. Sam

    Saul Pladen wroter
    > . o 0 { Borland → Inprise → Inprise/ → Borland/Inprise → Borland }
    Well, it actually is
    . o 0 { Borland → Inprise → Inprise/ → Borland/Inprise → Borland → CodeGear }
    And it still doesn’t work. And it won’t work for Sun.

  361. Tom Servo

    The comment section grew so huge, I doubt you’ll read this, but here’s my take anyway:
    The stock ticker change would have made more sense the time before .NET started crapping on the Java turf. Now it’s too late. With the general public, asking about something like Java or .NET, they’d point at .NET first. Enterprise customers? .NET is the hot new thing (even more thanks to Mono now, if someone doesn’t want to go Microsoft).
    Also, the old stock ticker hints directly towards Sun, JAVA doesn’t. You’re putting too much trust into these stock brokers in regards to their knowledge of companies. That the W in the current stock ticker means nothing these days isn’t important. What’s important is that if someone looks for Sun, they’ll do a wild guess and start at S and look for SUNsomething.
    I think since Sun is currently in a sensible position, that is getting back big in the market, where it also relies a lot on the community, stunts like this should be avoided. The 50/50 for and against reactions are a well enough indicator about what to do next.
    If you’re wanting that hard to change the ticker after all, consider pushing that idea a year or two into the future.
    My 2 cents.

  362. stranger

    I am a java developer.I agree that SUN has a brand product called "JAVA", but SUN has other branded product too, Company stock symbol should not show only one product success, stock symbol represent company.What will be the SUN’s stock symbol when SUN has any other very popular future product??
    I am not very sure why this decision made ,but anyway I like changes, experiments.lets see outcome of this,its just name change of stock symbol only….,Hope SUN will rock again.

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