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Sun Microsystems is a Silicon Valley-based computer, semiconductor and
Sun's products include computer servers and workstations based on the SPARC
processor, the SunOS and Solaris operating system, the NFS network file
system, the Java platform, and together with AT&T the standardization of
Unix System V Release 4. Its less successful ventures included the NeWS
window system and the OpenLook graphical user interface.
The initial design for the Unix workstation was conceived when the founders
were graduate students at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
The company name SUN originally stood for Stanford University Network.
Founders include Vinod Khosla, Scott McNealy, Bill Joy and Andy
Bechtolsheim. Of these only Joy and McNealy remain with Sun now.
Sun has an interesting logo designed by a prof called Vaughan Pratt at Stanford.
Sun luminaries include Bill Joy and James Gosling. John Gilmore was an early
employee. Bill Joy was invited when he was developing BSD in UC Berkeley
under the aegis of Ken Thompson initially. James Gosling and his fellows
developed Java programming language. In time, Sun became a world-class
company and an industry thought leader, best know for the motto "The Network
Is The Computer". Most recently, Jon Bosak led the creation of the XML
specification at W3C.
Initially, Sun provided BSD UNIX called "SUN OS" as an operating system for
workstation but later with AT&T it corporated BSD UNIX and System V into
Solaris, which is rather akin to System V.
Sun originally used Motorola 68000 as cpu architecture but later it
developed SPARC, which employs the IEEE standard RISC architecture.
Sun is known for its open source publications and licenses of all of its
major technologies. Though a late realizer, it included Linux as part of its
strategy. But Sun has been facing tough times as Linux started eating away
its part of the server market pie.
Sun published OpenOffice.org under both copyleft GNU GPL and Sun's original
license. As an office suite, OpenOffice.org is often compared with Microsoft
Office, ported to many platforms and often used in the open source community.
Sun bought StarOffice by acquiring the German software company StarDivision
and released it as an open source project under the name OpenOffice.org,
which is widely praised in the open source community. The current product
StarOffice (called StarSuite in China) is a closed product based on
Solaris supports GNOME and CDE as its desktop environment.
J2SE is the core Java platform.
J2EE is the Java architecture used by almost all software companies
implementing enterprise-class application servers.
J2ME and its derivative MIDP are widely used to add software capabilities to
JXTA is a peer-to-peer architecture designed to be used not only on the
computer, but on PDAs or cellular phones as well.
N1 aims at bringing the concept of the world being one giant computer.
Company ticker: SUNW at Nasdaq Market Capital: $54,584 M as of May 2003.