Monday, February 01, 2010

Oracle Means Business



A bit is a bit is a bit, right? Maybe in the laboratory, but not so much out in the world where market forces come into play. And, now that Oracle has swallowed Sun, some of the fallout from the event will be the change in strategy, philosophy, and product development over in Redwood Shores.

Technical Bits vs Business Bits
Sun started out in the technical and scientific computing environments and the output over the years was deeply influenced by having those strands in its DNA. As Oracle will happily tell you, Oracle Means Business.

So anything and everything that doesn't fit the picture of being monetized for business clients quickly, is gonna be shorn on the lathe of heaven. As Scott McNealy stated in his goodbye letter to Sun, "Larry Ellison is the greatest capitalist I've ever met".

Last night, I was notified through the Sun Immersion Group that Oracle has cut all funding for the Wonderland 3D immersion project. Biz don't need no 3D.

Wonderland is at the heart of our 3D environment on ComputeSpace. The group is scrambling to see if they can spin themselves off into their own organization, either non-profit or commercial.

Thus far, I've only been smart enough to use Wonderland. I wasn't smart enough to invent it. But, if I have to, I'll learn all of the thousands of lines of code I need to keep it alive for ComputeSpace.

In business class, for starting a company, they used the analogy of jumping off a cliff and building the plane on the way down. I'm certainly in free-fall and some of the parts seem to be getting away from me. Troubling.

Do I have faith? Loads of it. An it's unshakable. It's not inflatable though, and I'm assured that, if we don't get some lift under these wings, we will do a considerable dead cat bounce when we hit the ground.

But today we're installing our first server at Sutter. Catching the updraft and getting some altitude.

Next week we finish our consolidation project. That'll help, too.

And then the debut of the "full front-end demo". The demo with the 3D immersive environment, JavaFX, and drag-and-drop enabled. Can't say more without shooting you afterwards.

Our project isn't for business. It's for schools. We didn't build ComputeSpace because they had a lot of money that we wanted to liberate. We built it because they don't have a lot of money and we could help them with that.

I am not afraid of the market. Sun put its fate in the market's hands and a decision was made. We put our fate in our market's hands and a decision will also be made. But taking the parts away before the plane gets built? Hmmm, troubling...

Maybe, because of their markets, we can't depend on Sun or SGI or Cray or Dell or Cisco or AMD as passive partners in this enterprise anymore. Maybe when we lept from the precipice we should have carried the parts for our own machine shop and foundry, too!

We'll find out soon enough. A bit at a time.

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