Look for the Java Label

December 8th, 2003  |  Published in Uncategorized

I’m beginning to think that the worst mistake Sun made in the past

few months was

href=”http://www.serverwatch.com/news/article.php/3079731″>naming its

“Mad Hatter” product the Java Desktop System. Why? Because, I

suppose, Java has next to nothing to really do with the product. It’s

a SUSE Linux system using

href=”http://www.gnome.org”>GNOME,

href=”http://www.mozilla.org”>Mozilla, and

href=”http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/index.html”>StarOffice

wrapped up with a little bow. They bundle a current Java runtime with

it, sure, but the whole system isn’t “java-based.” If anything, it’s

Linux-based.

That doesn’t, however, deter eWeek’s intrepid (but not particularly curious) Peter Galli, who

should know better, from quoting and not qualifying an “analyst” who

says “in terms of how well it can do, I believe 100 percent that a

Windows-powered device would do far better than a Java-powered device”

when referring to a potential WalMart deal that would put Sun

JDS-powered PCs and laptops on the shelves. Nor does he qualify

the comments of an “IT manager” who prefers to go unnamed when that

source says:

“I personally keep Java off my computer because it crashes the system,” he said. “If Sun had the interests of the customer in mind, then the Sun desktop would be written in C and donated to Linux. Sun is no better than Microsoft.”

Bwah? GNOME is pretty much “written in C,” and while it hasn’t been

“donated to Linux” I’m fairly sure the kernel isn’t the place for

desktop environments.

Sun has only itself to blame, though: “Java Desktop System” sounds

like it means “Java-based” at first blush, and it’s the first blush

reaction you’d better count on when the coverage starts.

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