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View from the Hill - #11
During most of recorded history, astronomers believed that the Sun rotated around the Earth. The mathematician Copernicus (1473-1543) operating a hundred years before the invention of the telescope thought a better explanation was that the Earth actually revolved around the Sun. Teaching this theory got Galileo into a lot of trouble, in the early 17th century. This and other new ideas were part of the intellectual development we now call the Renaissance, in which great sceientists abandoned the received doctrines from classical antiquity, in those cases where their own experience and measurement suggested better theories.
In the SPARC systems market you could say we're in the Renaissance, where most people are quite comfortable with the idea that everything revolves around Sun Microsystems. So Sun's planned shut-down of operations during the first week in July, as a cost cutting measure designed to save jobs, could be the first time that people in this market get a chance to see other companies which are usually outshone by the strength of Sun's powerful marketing machine.
Just as the solar system would be a pretty dull place if you took away the
planets, comets, and other stuff swirling around the center or the photons and
other particles which are passing through, the same can be said of the markets
for compatible products which revolve around Sun Microsystems.
Sun has always known this, which is why it has invested in partnership programs, starting with the Catalyst in the 1980's, licensing the SPARC architecture via SPARC International in 1989, and more recently the Solaris Ready marketing programs. And let's not forget the resellers who historically have actually sold SPARC systems to more customers than Sun Microsystems. These thousands of partnerships have made the SPARC platform the powerful data factory it is today.
So, is the SPARC market going to screech to a grinding halt, while the people at Sun take an enforced sabbatical in July?
Are new Solaris product introductions going to wait in limbo for a week because they couldn't get the signoff from a marketing angel in Sun?
In the modern era of astronomy, we realise that the Sun is just one star in
this galaxy. It's significant to us, beacuse we're close to it, but actually
it's part of a much bigger system, we call the universe, which is drifting and
may (or may not) be expanding. If you look at projections for the size of the
computer market in as little as 3 years time, the segment which we currently
call "storage" will be worth more than 10 times as much in annual
revenue as Sun's entire revenue today...
Companies which still want to launch new products for the Sun compatible market in the first week in July should remember that during an eclipse, you can see halo effects clearer than at other times. Send your press releases here and you may find you can loosen that marketing umbilical cord more easily than you thought.
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