A recent presentation by Sun Microsystem's software chief John Loiacono to journalist Tom Foremski, highlighted something unexpected: Sun Microsystems seems to have a coherent, well focused and simple long term business strategy, something that it lacked dreadfully in the past few years.
Sun is now very focused on grid computing. Imagine grid computing as being computing on demand, where companies buy computing power like you would buy everyday utilities like gas, water and electricity.
This is where web services come in. It's no secret that Sun wants to build a strong and robust platform and by giving Solaris and StarOffice to the open source community for free, Sun has gambled on the future success of web services. And of course, there are Sun’s strengthening of ties with two of the leading Internet industry heavyweights, Ebay and Google.
Some of you might remember the time when thin clients or network computers were promised as the answer to the bloatedness of Wintel platform. Well, a similar thing is happening right now, but this time around, Sun Microsystems is less ambitious as the company lacks the firepower to take on Intel and other computer makers on the desktop. Rather, it is looking to forge strategic alliances with other key players in the market, including telco giants and Internet companies like Yahoo! and Google.
If Sun Microsystems succeeds in convincing enterprises to outsource their computer power in return for increased reliability, cheaper price, and improved performance, then the way we understand "networked computing" will be forever changed.