Sun: We're a Java company, just ask our ticker

Sun Microsystems said Thursday that it's changing its ticker from "SUNW" to "JAVA" effective Aug. 27.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Sun Microsystems said Thursday that it's changing its ticker from "SUNW" to "JAVA" effective Aug. 27.

While this move is largely a gimmick--Is any institutional investor going to push Sun over $5 over a ticker?--the new ticker is an interesting message. The message: Sun is more than storage systems, servers and UNIX--in other words all the stuff that accounts for most of the company's revenue.

In a statement and blog post, CEO Jonathan Schwartz outlines the rationale:

"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. More than a billion people across the globe, representing nearly every demographic, market and industry, rely upon Java's security, innovation and value to connect them with opportunity. That awareness positions Sun, and now our investor base, for the future."

All true. But there is one minor detail: Sun doesn't break out Java revenue. We have no idea how Sun monetizes the technology or makes its quarters with it. Ed Burnette notes that Java is programming heaven, but show us the money.

Sun's Java spiel is sort of along the lines of its old Webtone pitch in noting that Java is everywhere. Every PC and most embedded systems. Sun adds:

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 -- whether on handsets, personal computers, or in the network. Sun believes its business is advantaged by such exposure, and the change in ticker symbol more effectively connects it with the marketplace.

In other words, Java is the pulse of Sun. I'd still like to see a Java revenue breakdown though.

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