Google: Sun, Oracle couldn't compete with Android

Google is trying to hammer down the points that Oracle is suing now because it couldn't make enough money off of Java and couldn't bring its own platform to market.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- Besides arguing that the Java APIs were free to implement on Android because they are necessary for using the Java language, Google is holding onto another strategy as well.

That would be arguing that Oracle is only suing Google now because it couldn't bring a smartphone platform of its own to market to compete with Android.

Specifically, Google counsel Daniel Purcell focused on the development of full stacks while rolling through witnesses on Thursday morning at the U.S. District Court, starting with former Sun Microsystems and Oracle exec, Craig Gering.

Purcell sped through a definition of a full stack, which basically entails an operating system's framework and other relevant software. For instance, Android and iOS are examples of full stacks.

Gering worked at Sun Microsystems from 1990 until it was acquired by Oracle in 2010. Thereafter, Gering served as the vice president of the Java unit at Oracle until he left in early 2011.

Purcell pointed towards a number of different full stack projects and attempts at Sun, including "Project Acadia," which stemmed a Sun purchase from SavaJe.

Purcell asked Gering if Sun had gotten Project Acadia to market, would it have had a full-stack platform to compete with Android. Gering said he couldn't recall the details. Nevertheless, Sun never got any such competitor to market.

Purcell also showed to the jury a presentation at Sun from March 2009, titled, "Java in Wireless Business Review." Gering's name was on the title slide as the author of the presentation. Purcell pointed towards a slide that discussed "Project Daneel," which Gering clarified that this was similar to another project at Sun, called "Project Sundroid."

However, this was a gray area as Gering said he couldn't remember if they were the same projects or not. Nevertheless, Project Daneel nearly evolved to a full stack, but it never game about.

Finally, Purcell showed an email to Gering, among other Sun employees, from Sun CTO Vineet Gupta in January 2009. In that email, Gupta discussed that Sun was working on several proposed partnerships with major mobile OEMs and carriers, including Samsung, HTC, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

After Purcell asked if these were some of the top mobile phone companies in the world, he mumbled that was correct. Purcell pressed Gering by concluding that these must have been opportunities for Sundroid, but the project still never made it to market.

After a lightning fast appearance on the stand in comparison to some of the other witnesses called so far in this trial, Purcell called current Oracle executive Hasan Rizvi.

Currently senior vice president of development, Rizvi has been at Oracle since 1990, with a brief departure in 1998 until 2001. Rizvi is responsible for managing Oracle's Java business unit, among other tasks, since the Sun Microsystems acquisition in 2010.

Continuing down the same path, Purcell asked Rizvi if Sun's Java platform was not a full stack platform, to which Rizvi replied it was not, adding that "the java platform is OS agnostic."

Rizvi also confirmed that neither Sun nor Oracle has ever had a full stack -- at least for the Java platform -- on the market.

Through another line of questioning, it looked like Google was trying to also convey that Oracle hasn't been making enough money of Java as it might have previously expected -- thus, another incentive to sue Google for a cut of Android's revenue.

Citing a presentation made at Oracle shortly after Oracle acquired Sun, Google counsel Daniel Purcell highlighted a slide about Java's financial issues.

The slide read that "Java Clients is a $296 million business growing 13 percent year-over-year," and that "it has been historically split into five business segments," including platform and mobile.

Purcell asked Rizvi if this is still the case or if it is at least still growing at roughly 10 percent year-over year. Rizvi had trouble answering initially, replying it has been almost flat since then.

Yet, when a video clip from his deposition on July 28, 2011 was played back for the jury, Rizvi had said that the 10 percent figure was based on a recent memory, adding that "I wouldn't be able to make it more precise by saying it's 13 percent right now."


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