Sun is having its analyst conference in San Francisco this week, and there is lots of interesting coverage.
Stephen O'Grady captures the presentation by Netscape and now Ning founder Marc Andreessen. Most interesting was the comparison of Sun AMD/Solaris systems to whitebox Intel/Linux systems:
But the Ning gang did indeed forgo the generic x86/Linux route. By calculating the 'loaded' cost of hardware - factoring in not solely the initial cost of the hardware itself, but the power it would require, the space it would take up, and the overall support expenditure - they determined that Sun was far more economical. As Ning figured such things, the loaded cost (AKA TCO) of a whitebox Linux box running Intel chips was $10,350 over 36 months. Sun's AMD boxes running Solaris 10? $4760. Whatever you might think about those numbers and how they were generated, it was pretty apparent that they surprised the Ning gang. So as far as the operating system and hardware are concerned, Sun's apparently won over the man who popularized the browser.
On the other hand Stephen suggests that the Java part of Sun's message is not fully resonating with the developer community .
The bad news is that [Sun's] message is still too heavily weighted to the Java approach, which is problematic in a world that is increasingly adopting languages that are lighter in weight and more easily learned.
We have a video clip of the Andreessen presentation here.
News.com's Stephen Shankland quotes McNealy in his story:
"Shame on us, with 42 or 43 percent gross margins...our intellectual property, our installed base, if we can't leverage that into some growth, into making money."
No kidding. This the year that Sun has to show the fruits of its labor, strategy and R&D spend.
Shankland also has the story on the Sun's quest to become the grid services infrastructure providers and the challenges the company faces, such as "dinosaurically slow" uptake by service providers and problems with building grid infrastructure that can be tapped into like a power utility.