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Sun Microsystems Businesses Java Programming

Sun's Trading Symbol Going From SUNW To JAVA 356

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the big-whoop dept.
Mortimer.CA writes "Straight from Jonathan Schwartz's weblog, Sun is changing their ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA: 'JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that's inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). [...] To be very clear, this isn't about changing the company name or focus — we are Sun, we are a systems company, and we will always be a derivative of the students that created us, Stanford University Network is here to stay. But we are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category — and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol.'"
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Sun's Trading Symbol Going From SUNW To JAVA

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  • by jpfed (1095443) <jerry.federspiel ... l.com minus city> on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:30AM (#20341941)
    Hmm... while many programmers are powered by java, all life on Earth is powered at least indirectly by the Sun.
  • Uhm. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John_Booty (149925) <johnbooty@b[ ]yp ... g ['oot' in gap]> on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:33AM (#20341963) Homepage

    "we are [not] a company whose products can be limited by one category"


    So instead of naming themselves after one product category, they're naming themselves after another. Great! The name change makes some sense (who really wants the outdated "workstation" thing attached to their name?) but marketingspeak is just so silly sometimes.

    Can't help but think they'll want to do this gain once Java is no longer their flagship product. If they're still around (and I hope they are!)
    • Re:Uhm. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MMC Monster (602931) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:38AM (#20341991)
      Actually, I was under the impression that SUNW was a more respectable name. Workstation gives the suggestion of serious computer power.
      • Re:Uhm. (Score:4, Informative)

        by peterprior (319967) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:47AM (#20342075)
        Actually it stands for Standford University NetWorks... :)
      • Re:Uhm. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by John_Booty (149925) <johnbooty@b[ ]yp ... g ['oot' in gap]> on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:59AM (#20342153) Homepage
        For customers, maybe, but not for investors - and they're the ones that will see the ticker symbol. The workstation market is near-nonexistent. "Workstations" harken to the days of $10,000 desktop computers like the NeXT Cube and the like. Former workstation companies like SGI have collapsed financially and are scrambling to try and find other ways to make money.
        • by Otter (3800)
          I had periodically wondered what the W stood for but had never connected it with "workstation", and doubt if many investors had. (Anyway, other posters are claiming plausibly that the link to "workstation" isn't even correct.)
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by PhunkySchtuff (208108)
            SUNW (The stock ticker symbol) = Stanford University Network Workstation.

            Sun (the company) = Sun Microsystems.
        • by gbjbaanb (229885)
          Any investor who buys a stock based solely on the ticker symbol ... needs to check out the prospectus for my new company Silicon Emerging X-factor, York.

          Seriously, SUNW used to be well known to investors, now it just sounds like NetJ" [nettime.org] (a company at the dotcom boom that had a descriptions that said (roughly) "we don't do anything, nor do we have immediate plans to do anything". )
        • For customers, maybe, but not for investors - and they're the ones that will see the ticker symbol. The workstation market is near-nonexistent. "Workstations" harken to the days of $10,000 desktop computers like the NeXT Cube and the like. Former workstation companies like SGI have collapsed financially and are scrambling to try and find other ways to make money.
          One word: wankstation. Do not argue, you know this to be true.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by nuzak (959558)
            Train stations are where trains come to a stop. My desk has a workstation.
      • by mikael (484)
        SJNW would have made sense:

        S = Servers
        J = Java
        N = (the) Network
        W = Workstations

        But just Java? Seem to be ignoring three major markets....
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ednopantz (467288)
      This is the platform company that spent the 1990s evangelizing a language that makes it easy to write platform independent code.

      Java may be nice, but it was a butt-stupid move for a company that made its money in OSes and hardware.
  • In related news, Steve Balmer was spotted replacing his previous 'ZUNE4ME' vanity plates with a fresh set which sports the slogan 'JAVAL0L'..

    Seriously though, I don't think Java is a particularly big reason for people to like Sun, and tying your company's future to it seems ill-advised.
  • by stony3k (709718) <stony3k.gmail@com> on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:36AM (#20341981) Homepage
    While I agree that this sounds silly, do remember that it's just the stock symbol. There are many companies with silly stock symbols (GLW, T, F). I guess they feel that more people will buy their stocks if the name sounds familiar.

    Basically, nothing to see here.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by brajesh (847246)
      AAPL -> JOBS?
      • Completely off topic, but does anyone know why Apple chose AAPL instead of APPL? According to Google Finance, no one else is using APPL.
        • by Stooshie (993666)
          Not knowing anything about shares this is only a guess, but I assume that when Apple first started trading they were given AAPL. I also assume it's like registration plates and you would have to pay for a custom one. When apple were first listed they were probably more worried about investing the money in RandD.
      • by Megane (129182)
        Nope... AAPL -> IPOD of course.
    • Indeed, it is only the stock ticker. Anyhow, there is far more interesting news about IT stocks. For example, SCO's stock (SCOX) has almost doubled since it plummeted: SCOX [google.com]. Who the heck is buying it?
    • While I agree that this sounds silly, do remember that it's just the stock symbol.

      Actually, in Solaris it's also the prefix of all of their official packages:

      # pkginfo | grep SUNW | wc -l
      968
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ONU CS Geek (323473)
      And to think, this is being reported from a company whose stock ticker is LNUX, who doesn't do Linux hardware (or software) any more, that specializes in Online Media.

  • on SUN with this because it's hard to predict how the market is going to react. I really don't think that it's going to make all that much difference since it's still the same company and all the same assets that they had before now. Still though with all the things coming out SUN what with all the GPL software and the deal with IBM I think that things are starting to look a little brighter. Also is it just me or does it seem like with the IBM deal that SUN is wanting to get deeper entrenched in the soft
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by stevesliva (648202)

      Also is it just me or does it seem like with the IBM deal that SUN is wanting to get deeper entrenched in the software business IBM wants to start to get out of it?
      It's just you. IBM is the second-largest software company in the world, and software mints money.
  • Who trades under "SUN"?

    Ok, I did Google it, and I guess it's "Sunoco." I guess I could've seen that one coming.

    (Totally off-subject, but I'm finding that Google should be responsible for a significant decrease in general ignorance: whenever someone wonders some basic question, the answer is usually a few keywords away. This hasn't happened yet for some reason.)
    • by RocketJeff (46275)
      Sun couldn't (easily) use SUN as their symbol even if it was available. They're listed with NASDAQ and all NASDAQ symbols are 4 characters long (sometimes 5 - the 5th is used as an indicator that there's something unusual about the security). Other examples are MSFT and AAPL (and, for a little while longer SCOX).

      Symbols on the other US exchanges are all 3 letters or less. SUN (Sunoco) is listed on the NYSE, as is IBM and T (AT&T). Interestingly enough, the symbol "M" wasn't in use on the NYSE for a
      • by timster (32400)
        This is a bit of a holdover from the days when the NASDAQ was technically not an exchange, but a mere quotation system (with trading done over-the-counter); hence NYSE securities were called "listed" and NASDAQ ones were called "OTC". Now that NASDAQ is a proper stock exchange, the SEC has allowed NASDAQ to retain 3-letter symbols on securities that move to the NASDAQ from some other exchange (as they are just as much "listed" as NYSE securities). So we will soon see some three-letter symbols on NASDAQ, t
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Who trades under "SUN"?

      Why, everyone under the SUN, of course!

  • Packages (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HaydnH (877214) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:41AM (#20342021)
    As all of the Solaris packages start with the companies ticker, will all future Sun packages now be called JAVAxxxxx? That's going to annoy the hell out of us sys admins =/ Haydn.
  • by AccUser (191555) <mhg.taose@co@uk> on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:45AM (#20342053) Homepage
    Look out for BSOD on a stock ticker near you. Unless you are running a real operating system, that is.
  • But we are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category -- and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol.
    I can think of some four letter symbols that express the sentiment a bit better...
  • by lancejjj (924211) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:58AM (#20342145) Homepage
    The quote was truncated. Here it is in its totality:

    "But we are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category -- and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol.

    Our first choice was the even more accurate DEAD, but that symbol was already taken by Emerson Burial Caskets."

  • Other companies have used their chief product as thier ticker symbol. Anheuser-Busch, for example, has a ticker symbol of BUD.

    But in reading TFA, I can't help but feel like I'm being beat over the head with a marketing stick.

    I mean, come on now... "a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet"???

    Give me a break... I work in a .NET shop. Guess how much JAVA we use. Guess how important it is in our apps.

    • by Colin Smith (2679)

      Give me a break... I work in a .NET shop. Guess how much JAVA we use. Guess how important it is in our apps.
      Mmmmm. It shows you Microsoft's .NET strategy 5 years before they know themselves?

       
  • Wouldn't JAVA make more sense as Starbucks' stock symbol? I liked SUNW. I have fond memories about learning to program on SUN and HP workstations. HP has already mostly phased out their UNIX workstation line, and this seems to be (potentially) a first tentative step for SUN to become more like IBM and move away from hardware as their bread and butter.

    I write this from a SUN Linux box, so I certainly hope this isn't the case.
  • JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet

    What on Earth is this idiot talking about?

    TWW

    • by Megane (129182)

      I think he's talking about how I disabled Java in my web browser two weeks ago, due to the report of some asshole figuring out a way for (cr)applets to take over your browser to make even more annoying adware... and haven't noticed the difference!

      Now when is Adobe going to change their stock ticker to FLSH?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:26AM (#20342333)
    ...because in my experience, Java increases the size of things by at least 25%.
  • Unfathomable. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MythMoth (73648) on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:29AM (#20342367) Homepage
    I'm a developer who uses Java almost exclusively these days. I enjoy working with the language, and I think it's the cat's PJs when putting together big enterprise sites. And I think this move is... stupid. BUT I'm a developer, so I know nothing of the mystical ways of marketing. It might all be BS or there might be something in it; I don't really care all that much.

    However, I do take substantial issue with one thing that Schwartz said, which I think is pretty badly thought out:

    As for working professionals, I had dinner with a financial analyst a few months ago who said he saw the Java launch experience "a few times a day" when accessing intranet applications - as did tens of thousands of his fellow employees.
    He's basically saying: "We shove a splash screen in users faces every day". This is a Bad Thing! He's making users associate Java with applications that have poor performance - by definition if they're seeing this they're not getting to the application they want to work on as quickly as they should. The poor performance (web server performance) is out of their hands, but it's in their control to prevent the association with their brand!

    I have high regards for Sun employees in general. Their management, however, I have my doubts about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cmat (152027)
      Ya know, something I've always found bizarre about this "everyone thinks java has poor loading times" comment... most everyone that uses a computer and is not a programmer seems to look at the slow loading of any app as a "problem with my computer, hang on a sec, it's just loading now". So most of the time I would argue that the average user of such applications care more about overall performance slowdowns and almost never associate the real causes of slowdown to any particular factor.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:33AM (#20342389) Homepage
    GE does a lot of things besides manufacture light bulbs and generators. In fact they do a lot of things besides manufacturing light bulbs, generators, medical equipment, jet engines, finance, plastics, and railroad locomotives. Yet they feel no need to change their trading symbol.

    Does anyone think that it would help Apple to change its trading symbol from APPL to IPOD?

    Does AT&T worry that people will think telegraphs are old-fashioned?

    GE, Apple, and AT&T are just names. For better or worse, people know what these companies are, not because of the names, but because of the companies. And the trading symbol is one step further removed.

    SUN is an acronym for Stanford University Network. It should be a proud part of the company's heritage.

    Wanting to fiddle with the trading symbol is a sure sign of a company that has no idea of what its identity is or what it is or should be doing. It also indicates an unhealthy focus on the stock, rather than company's business itself.
  • Since Solaris packages are all marked by the originating company's stock ticker (VRTSvcs, SUNWlp), won't it cause a little confusion to start seeing things like JAVAapp, or JAVAexplorer?
  • It reminds me of when Microsoft started adding ".NET" to everything a few years back. Stupid and confusing and ultimately, a waste of time and money.
  • Wait a sec.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Churla (936633) on Friday August 24, 2007 @09:01AM (#20342619)
    So they don't want to just be associated with workstations, so they change their symbol to the name of one particular software product they produce. I boggle at this.

    Why not change the symbol to something like SunS (Sun Systems, oops taken), or SunT (...technologies) , or Sunn (...networking, but also taken...)

    You get the idea. Keep the identity they have as Sun, because that does carry recognition. Far more than I think they think Java does. It would be like MS changing their ticker to WNDZ or the federal government getting the ticker symbol DCMA...
    • by simong (32944)
      Cool, the US Government is floating on the stock market? I'm in... hmm, although looking at it's current performance it's not a good time for IPO. Some Indian company will probably just come in and take it over.
  • And in later news Microsoft is changing its ticker to BSOD.
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday August 24, 2007 @09:03AM (#20342649)
    If so, I have some suggestions:

    TOAST
    KAPUT
    DEAD
    MLTDN
    NOCSE
    PWNED <---- I hated to put that last one in there, but after the way the judge ruled against them and given their current situation, I think it applies nicely.
  • Why change your ticker symbol from your company name to one particular product? This is akin to Apple (AAPL) changing their symbol to IPOD. As an admin who still maintains a number of Sun servers, this now raises some question as to how committed Sun is to the hardware market in the future, or whether they will go to a software model. This is starting to sound more and more like a company without a strong vision of its future, and right now some exec found that Java is one of the last jewels of hope, so
    • by mhall119 (1035984)
      Java is Sun's loss-leader. Java brings users to Solaris and Sparc like nothing else has, so it's not surprising that Sun wants "Java" to be used as much and as widely as possible.
  • LNUX (Score:2, Funny)

    by DogDude (805747)
    This message is brought to you by "LNUX": A company that has nothing to do with "Linux" anymore, and has only made money by selling off pieces of itself. (Slashdot is owned by Sourceforge, which used to be VA Linux, etc.).

    In other words, changing their ticker name to "JAVA" doesn't necessarily bode well.
  • by invisik (227250)
    Just don't change the company logo to the little Java guy that waves at you. Now that would lower sales for sure! Kinda reminds me of Clippy.

    -m
  • Packages (Score:2, Funny)

    by ilikejam (762039)
    # cd /shared/pkg
    # pkgadd -d . SUNWzlib
    pkgadd: ERROR: no package associated with <SUNWzlib>
    # ls | grep SUNW
    # ls | head
    JAVA1251f
    JAVA1394h
    JAVA1394x
    JAVA5ttf
    J AVA5xmft
    JAVA5xplx
    JAVAa2psr
    JAVAa2psu
    JAVAacc r
    JAVAaccu
    # echo Bastards
    Bastards
    # pkgadd -d . JAVAzlib
    Processing package instance <JAVAzlib> from ......
  • But we are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category -- and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol.'"
    I feel like Quagmire after he encounters an opportunity for a sexual innuendo so obvious, even he would feel ashamed to take it. They're not just lobbing us an easy one, it's t-ball.
  • has decided to change the name of his immensely successful film company to JAWA.

    OK, so the company isn't publicly traded, but still, has Sun not been able to get enough attention lately that it has to ride on the coat tails of Java?
  • by supersnail (106701) on Friday August 24, 2007 @10:14AM (#20343425)
    ... only trouble is it made it for IBM not sun!

    IBM seem to be the only company capable of actually selling java based product.
    But then again they persuaded people to part with ready cash for Lotus Notes
    so it doesnt really say much about Java.

    I think SUN is desperate not to be seen a a hardware manufacturer becuase
    of its associantion with commodity products and declining profitability.

    However the only way to become a succesful software business is to SELL
    software to customers, which, SUN does not do at all well.
     
  • New Slogan? (Score:3, Funny)

    by pragma_x (644215) on Friday August 24, 2007 @11:12AM (#20344111) Journal
    Java: Brand Once, Market Everywhere.

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