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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-09-29 Print this article Print

Onno Kluyt, director of the JCP program management office at Sun, acknowledged the branding issue. "I do expect Suns naming strategy to be discussed [at the meeting]," Kluyt said. However, he added, "the JCP itself does not own the brand; Sun owns the brand."

Kluyt said the JCP elections will fill four ratified seats on the Micro Edition Executive Committee and on the Standard Edition/Enterprise Edition Executive Committee. Sun gets to nominate companies for both slots.

For the Micro Edition committee, Sun has nominated Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Motorola Inc., Siemens AG and Vodafone Group plc. For the Standard Edition/Enterprise Edition committee, Sun has nominated Fujitsu Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Oracle Corp.

Not all are against Suns branding moves. "I am a brand person and as such relate to the rights of Sun to use the Java brand as they please," said Marc Fleury, president of Atlanta-based The JBoss Group LLC. "I wouldnt say it is unfair. However, it is misleading, as other partners have invested as much in the brand. And it is true that the once- dogmatic wall between church and state at Sun on Java may have fallen."

"This is a pretty smart move by Sun," said James Governor, an analyst with RedMonk LLC, in London. "Suddenly, the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on marketing Java have a natural connection to the mother ship. On the other hand, one wonders what took Sun so long."

To others, the crux of the issue is fair use for Java partners. "Any J2EE vendor should be able to brand their products the same way. Whats good for the goose should be good for the gander. Hopefully, this effort to co-opt Java as a product brand wont derail the ultimate goal of the Java Community Process—providing a vendor- independent future for Java," said Frank Martinez, chairman and chief technology officer of Blue Titan Software Inc., in San Francisco.

Yet others see the move as harmful and desperate. "I think the Java brand is hopelessly out of control and diluted, and sticking it onto everything Sun sells wont help to turn around their doomed core business—that is, overpriced Solaris boxes now called Java Enterprise System," said Gerald Bauer, an independent Java consultant based in Ottawa. "Sun is dead. Long live The Java Company."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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