As of this coming Monday the stock symbol for Sun Microsystems will be changes from SUNW to JAVA (see http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/pr/2007-08/sunflash.20070823.1.xml ). “The Java brand and technology have evolved to be among the most pervasive on the internet, yielding extraordinary awareness for Sun and opportunity for the community that leverages it, ” said Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO of Sun.
This is an attempt to bring more attention to investors that just love Java as the programming language. Individual software engineers having some extra cash to invest (mainly the impulse buyers who do not have time to learn the rules of gambling on stock market) will quickly purchase a couple of hundred of JAVA shares. Sounds cool, and I personally will also do this just to show my respect to a programming language that feeds my family nicely during the past ten years.
But this also reminds me these fund raiser events that invite celebrities from the past. Mohammad Ali will be there hellip;let me go and support Joe Smith, the mayoral candidate.
During the last ten years Sun Microsystems and Java experienced very similar evolution. Go to Google Finance and do a search on SUNW (http://finance.google.com/finance?q=sunw ) or, I guess JAVA now. Here “s the 10-year stock price chart of SUNW.
Forget for a second that you are looking at the performance of a publicly traded company. Don “t you think that it looks very similar to the evolution and popularity of Java, the programming language? 1998-2001 were the best years of this language. It was very exciting time. Sixty bucks a share! After that, speaking financial language, Java has found it support at five bucks a share and not much is going on in this camp.
Do not get me wrong, Java is tried and true solutions in the enterprise and mobile space. Millions developers will keep using it as a mainstream language for years to come. But I “d love to see something more exciting routine programming in a heavy-weight environment. The fact that Java has overlooked a huge Internet consumer “s market (Java Applets is a last century solution) hurts. Recently announced JavaFX scripting language does not impress me so far. The fact that it “s build on top of Swing libraries does not seem to be a right decision. JavaFX should be build on a new set of GUI components. Let “s wait for another year though.. .
Carrying over megabytes of unused libraries from one Java version to another do not help. I do not support the moves to make the language syntax even more complex (i.e. introduction of closures in Java 8). IMO, using a smaller and more agile JVM as a runtime engine for various programming languages may be a way to go. Upcoming Consumer JRE and Java Kernel may help in reviving the popularity of Java.
Having said all this, I wish all the best to Sun Microsystems and to Java language. Let “s see if IBM will change their stock symbol to COBOL (actually IBM is listed on NYSE that does not allow more than three symbols for their securities).
Here ‘s another thought – does it mean that Sun is planning to get rid of their hardware business?