Sun to world: "*WE* invented Web services." :)

From: Adam Rifkin (
Date: Tue Feb 06 2001 - 09:57:26 PST

Will the real inventor of Web services please stand up?

On second thought, sit down and shut up until you can stop whining
that Microsoft is stealing your vision. :)

Now is the time for all good people to lead, follow, or get out of the way...

Sun wrestles with Microsoft for Web-services crown
By Wylie Wong and Cecily Barnes
Staff Writers, CNET
February 5, 2001, 4:00 p.m. PT

Sun Microsystems executives believe Microsoft stole its vision of
Web-based computing, and the company set out Monday to prove that it
came up with the idea first.

Sun outlined a technology road map for Web-based software and services,
following similar announcements by Microsoft, Oracle, IBM,
Hewlett-Packard and others.

At a press conference in San Francisco, Sun Chief Executive Scott
McNealy explained how its software developer tools, Internet
infrastructure software and operating system products will serve as the
underlying plumbing necessary to build, run and manage Web services.

And McNealy scoffed at any suggestion that Sun was late to the
game. "We've been doing network services since we got started--every
computer we ever shipped since 1986," he said.

Like every software company, Sun sees a future where people don't have
to install software on their PCs or Net devices. Instead, they can
access the software through the Web--avoiding installation, maintenance
and potential upgrade problems.

This vision of computing, which has morphed into the marketing buzzword,
"The Network is the Computer," has long been touted by McNealy to
counter Microsoft's dominance in PC operating systems. But last summer,
Microsoft jumped on the bandwagon to tie Windows closer to the Web.

Microsoft's new plan, called Microsoft.Net, is part of the software
giant's goal of maintaining Windows' dominance even as computing shifts
toward portable devices such as cell phones, Web-surfing appliances and
personal digital assistants.

Because Microsoft's Web services strategy was announced eight months
ago, Microsoft representatives say Sun is simply copying Microsoft. But
analysts and Sun executives say Sun still has the head start.

"They're not late to the game," said Edward Broderick, senior research
analyst with Robert Frances Group. "Some are very good on hype and what
we call 'vaporware'--others deliver."

"We're ready now, and they're not going to have anything until 2003,"
said George Paolini, Sun's vice-president of Java community
development. "They're ahead of us in being able to get the message out;
that's all they're ahead on."

To be fair, Microsoft does have a two-year plan to ship all its .Net
software products, but its new software development tools for Web
services, called Visual Studio.Net, are expected to ship later this year.

Paolini said Microsoft's .Net strategy only reinforces that Sun's
original Web-based model is truly the wave of the future. In the past,
Microsoft has championed the storage of data and applications on the PC
rather than on a network.

"It was basically a very sincere form of flattery because they
essentially emulated the Sun model for network computing," Paolini
said. "They basically conceded that the network is where computer
intelligence and collaboration should take place, not on the desktop."

As reported earlier, Sun on Monday announced Sun Open Net Environment
(ONE), a two-year technology roadmap for software developers to build
Web-based services and software using the Java programming language.

Sun executives said its Forte software development tools, its iPlanet
e-business software developed by the Sun-America Online alliance and
Sun's Solaris operating system all are part of Sun's infrastructure for
delivering computing services over the Web.

Sun said the company's strategy differs significantly from Microsoft's
strategy its applications, software and developer guidelines are based
in Java and XML (Extensible Markup Language), a Web standard for data

Microsoft's strategy does support XML, but the company is trying to
steer developers away from Java.

After recently settling a lawsuit with Sun over Java, Microsoft
announced a new set of software development tools and services that will
allow programmers to translate their Java software code to support
Microsoft's strategy.

Marge Breya, chief marketing officer of Sun's iPlanet division, says
developing Web services based on standards is as important as standards
adopted by the auto industry to build cars.

"Interchangeable parts on the assembly line completely revolutionized
manufacturing in the 20th century," Breya said. "What we're announcing
today is our dedication commitment to make those interchangeable parts
for Web services."


Designers are great at designing things, coders are great at coding things, and while everyone is off doing their best at what they're good at, a business person can be trusted to kick ass on the business things. It's definitely hard to find a business person with any idea of what the coders and designers are doing, but I kinda wish we looked harder in the beginning and left them to handle the icky parts we weren't all that great at. --

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