March 17, 2006

Could the Google and Sun rumor be about Java ?

If you have been following writings from Daniel M Harrison you would notice how strong his convictions are on this topic. Daniel strongly believes that Google is buying Sun. And any reader who doesn't understand how Google and Sun operate can easily be swayed to believe this. But not me.

The fact that Google or Sun haven't publicly denied these new rumors, means that something might be cooking. But Google buying Sun doesn't sound very interesting.

  • Sun has a large pool of talent who know how to create fault tolerant, high performance parallel processing computing infrastructure.

  • Google has a large pool of talent who have perfected the art of distributed computing using cheap hardware clusters using free tools and operating systems

  • Sun is a hardware, software and services company

  • Google makes its revenue from advertisements

  • If Google buys Sun, it would be forced to use Sun technology. Microsoft had a hard time switching Hotmail.com from FreeBSD to Microsoft based solutions.

  • The change for Google to switch to Sun based hardware and software and the time spent to do it could be quite significant.

  • A lot of goodwill for Google stems from the fact that Google is Open source friendly. Even though Sun has made attempts to open its Operating System, the perception is not the same. Google might have to face some negative publicity if they don't take immediate damage control initiatives after a buy out.


If there is any truth to these rumors, its more likely that its about Java than anything else.

  • Google already has an agreement with Sun over cross distribution of Java and Google desktop.

  • Based on what I know, its more likely that Google might buy out Sun's Java technology than buying the whole company itself.

  • Java is one platform which is truely write-once-run-everywhere. Nothing else comes closer to this reality.

  • Google desktop has made significant inroads into desktop world running Microsoft OS. But lacks critical foothold in non-Microsoft world. This could change if it switches to Java as the application platform for all of its client side applications

  • If Google plans to quickly build applications like GDrive and integrate writely.com with other applications running on the local operating system, it would need a more universal platform. Java, though slow, is still faster than javascript and has more access to the operating system to do such tasks.

  • With better control over how Java develops, Google could use its strong technical background to speed it up and customize it for its own applications. The way Microsoft is trying to use .NET to spread its word.

  • This may or may not be a good thing for Java. But will definitely be a awesome add on for Google.

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