Sun’s Strategies Were Compelling, But Sadly Ineffective

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sunsSun has been riding the Java wave, but will it come crashing down on its hardware business?

Java has been a blessing for Sun Microsystems Inc. But for Sun’s revenue-driving hardware business, could Java turn out to be a curse?

More than any other company, Sun is tying its future–in the form of its successful RISC-based hardware business–to Java. While other RISC vendors are hedging their bets by embracing Windows NT and pledging support for Intel Corp.’s IA-64 architecture, Sun remains steadfast in its opposition to the Wintel camp.

With Java still unproven in the enterprise, that’s a risky bet. But it’s one that Sun is willing to make, to the level that they have even taken up sponsoring coding camps like The Open Community Camp.

“The whole strategy behind Java is to create a level playing field; the master plan is to have a chance to compete,” said John Loiacono, director of strategy and branding at Sun Microsystems Computer Co., in Mountain View, Calif.

Such competition creates a double-edged sword for Sun. If Java does take hold …