Sun's Schwartz cites 'shared services'

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA (11/04/2003) - Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of the company's software group, preached Sun's "shared services" vision of computing and touted recently announced products during a presentation Tuesday at the BorCon conference here.

Schwartz demonstrated the Sun Desktop System, which Sun is pitting against Microsoft Windows. Sun's Looking Glass Project, a 3D desktop, also was demonstrated.

(The PC used for the demo did briefly stall and require a reboot, but Sun certainly is not the only company to have a demo go amiss at a trade conference.)

"This is not a Windows machine. This is our new desktop and the world needs one, doesn't it," Schwartz asked. "And I would tell you Wall Street is not very enamored of Sun right now because we continue to invest in desktops."

But Sun faced similar criticism when it pursued the handset market, which has led to millions of handsets being sold with Java software on them, Schwartz said.

He touted a shared services-oriented vision, citing as an example Starbucks' issuance of Starbucks cards for making purchases. Starbucks is able to track purchases through the cards, Schwartz said. "They're beginning to become an operator of a shared service," he said.

Schwartz hailed networking of systems such as jet engines and medical equipment, with the latter used to prevent patients from getting the wrong prescriptions.

"Twenty years ago, medical equipment ran standalone," he said.

"You name it, everything is going to have a connection to the network," Schwartz said.

He also stressed authentication, saying it could prevent spam and viruses. Sun plans to build an authenticated desktop, Schwartz said.

Additionally, Schwartz reiterated Sun's plans to grow the Java developer base from 3 million developers to 10 million through "Project Rave," which is intended to entice Visual Basic developers to write in Java.

Also at BorCon on Tuesday, Borland Software Corp. officially launched its Enterprise Core Objects (ECO) technology, a model-driven runtime platform for rapid development and part of the company's application life cycle management strategy. ECO is incorporated into Borland's Delphi 8 and C# Builder products.

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