The Return of the Hardware Company?

Some people ask if we are a hardware company.

The answer is simply "No, we also have Solaris and the Solaris Enterprise System (BTW: You can get it for free, but if you want to get serious, you can buy a real license and real service.), and of course Java itself is all about software. And I didn't mention my favourite pieces of software, the Sun N1 Grid Engine and the Sun Streaming Server yet. And there's so much more software coming out of this company, it's just incredible.

"So you're a software company, then?", they ask.

Of course not. We invest a huge amount of R&D Dollars in developing great hardware. The Sun Galaxy line of servers are simply the best x64 systems by far on the planet, they define the meaning of "quality" for this space. And we recently announced our merger with StorageTek. And today is day 1 of the age of CMT with the introduction of the Sun Fire T1000 and Sun Fire T2000, based on the UltraSPARC T1 processor, which we are going to open source as well.

"So, are you about services then?", they ask helplessly.

Well, we do have a lot of services to offer, and indeed, my own job is to be part of the Client Solutions Organization in Germany, which is all about service. Indeed, you need a good deal of services to create a real solution out of hardware and software. And while we're at it, we don't do it all by ourselves, we rely on great partners that bring in a great deal of hardware, software and services that solve our customers' problems.

It's about the system. No more, no less.

There's no hardware without software, no software without hardware, and no solution without service. All has to fit together. That's why we are called Sun Microsystems, not "Sun Microsoft" (you wouldn't believe how many times my sore ears have to endure this term when signing in to a Hotel...) nor "Sun Microhardware".

And Greg's Definition of a "Microsystem" brings the meaning of Sun to a new level. Earlier today, I told the story about how well UltraSPARC T1 does Web streaming. It's because hardware and software are both designed to work together as a great system. Solaris Containers turn the UltraSPARC T1 CPU into a compute-center-on-a-chip, a Microsystem.

So why am I sounding like a marketing pitch now? Because so many people still don't get it. Today, I stumbled again about a piece of news by a popular IT website about "Overall, it was great to see Sun return to its hardware roots..." and "The company's hardware pitches are much more palatable than many of its far-reaching software efforts."

When will they finally get it?

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