One day after the postponement announcement of Comdex by its owners MediaLive International Inc., the new rumor in the Valley - as delegates to the annual JavaOne conference start making their final travel preparations to arrive in San Francisco to attend this year's annual event next week - is that MediaLive just lost its bid to produce JavaOne next year and going forward.
In a week already made memorable - for tradeshow enthusiasts and haters alike - by the "postponement" of this year's Comdex by its owners MediaLive International, there are rumbles in the Bay Area that another giant techfest may be their next event to be affected.
The new rumor is that Sun Microsystems Inc. (which owns JavaOne), may have decided that this year's conference will be the last one to be produced by MediaLive, making it two casualties in one week for the San Francisco-based company.
JavaOne has been one of the four major events and revenue sources in MediaLive's portfolio since the very first event in 1996. The other three significant MediaLive (formerly Key3Media) shows are Comdex, which it postponed Wednesday, Network+Interop, and Seybold conferences.
The management of MediaLive International Inc. has been busily telling the press that they expect to reinvent Comdex in 2005 as an event for corporate IT users, instead of going on as the showcase for an unfocussed gallimaufry of technology products that the show had become.
But what will become of JavaOne? And why has Sun Microsystems decided - if these reports turn out to be accurate - to dump MediaLive?
According to sources close to MediaLive and Sun, MediaLive may have actually lost its bid this year to a different show producer whose name has not yet been announced.
The new organizer of JavaOne may be a company with close ties to IBM Corp. and was originally formed to produce IBM's trade shows. If this were the case, then - according to another source familiar with the workings of the technology tradeshow industry - it may be that Sun is perhaps using the biggest event of its annual calendar as a strategic tool to help close the historical breach between itself and IBM, exhibited in such ways as Sun's hesitations about joining Eclipse, the IBM-inspired organization that just recently became a Foundation legally and nominally independent of Big Blue.
Perhaps Sun has decided to mend fences, just as it did recently with Microsoft, and is letting the management of JavaOne go from MediaLive to the folks who put together IBM's considerable array of tech conferences for them? That would certainly be one very effective behind-the-scenes way for US$14 billion market cap Sun to extend an olive branch to $152 billion market cap IBM, its much bigger brother.
LinuxWorld.com has invited Sun, IBM, and MediaLive for confirmation or rebuttal, but as of this evening EST none of the three companies had yet offered to comment on the record.
To lose one trade show in a week is bad enough, but what are the chances of losing two in the same week? If the rumor is true, the official announcement should come as early as next Monday, the first day of JavaOne.