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Social Clouds

Well, you and I know its internet. Cloud vendors will give all sorts of fancy names and battle it out. Steve has some interesting observations there.

Sun Microsystems has been under particular pressure to realign; analysts and even Sun employees such as Tim Bray have been outspoken in their pleas for Sun’s executive team to jettison unprofitable ventures in favor of some kind of cloud strategy. CEO Jonathan Schwartz has hinted in recent months of some wood behind what Sun calls its Grid effort, and will this week roll out Sun’s JavaFX 1.0 front end technology to compete with Flash/Air and Silverlight.

JavaFX could be one of the casualties if Sun decides to pare technologies along with the 18% of its employees it’s trimming. Other cuts might include the NetBeans development environment, which has kept pace with or even bettered Eclipse in quality but not in uptake, and OpenOffice, the free Office replacement. Unfortunately for Sun, Google Docs has stolen some of the strategic thunder with an on-demand product from a company that can afford it.

Google is feeling some pressure as well, as its odd messaging around a Gmail Video chat plug-in reveals. Though the company has made a big deal about only supporting open Web technologies, they have much less to say about the use of proprietary technologies in the video plug-in. Coming at the same time that CEO Eric Schmidt attacks Azure as a way “to gain enough share in cloud computing to force other people to use its standards,” the use of Flash and the reluctance to answer direct questions about it seem disingenuous, something Google has steered clear of as it builds out its own standards such as Chrome and Android.



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