Sun Launches an App Store + Ellison on Sun's Future

Schwartz gets all "Carl Sagan" on us... "billions and billions"....

Before Schwartz and Gosling introduced the Java App Store, Schwartz made sure to emphasize the size of the community: "Billions of PCs, Billions of Mobile Devices, Millions of set-top boxes", Schwartz's point emphasized volume and market penetration. Schwartz quotes: "The Java community itself is as big as the network" and "this is where the opportunity really lies" and "Focused on driving down the barriers to entry, the barriers between the developer and the customer."

Gosling and Schwartz introduce the Java App Store

James Gosling introduced the Java store. Gosling: "If you are going to be a desktop developer in the Linux world, it has to be a labor of love, you have to take a vow of poverty" Gosling and Schwartz had a little canned conversation on the stage about how to "monetize" development how to "put food on the table". Schwartz: "Some of these things are not advancing as fast as they could because they are a labor of love."

Schwartz: "We create a head turning relationship with Google, last year we turned even more heads and created a relationship with [Microsoft]. These are two companies Google and Microsoft that are interested in distribution." Schwartz wanted to find a way to "generalize" the distribution advantages given to Google and Microsoft. Gosling then proceeded to introduce Sun's "App Store". Gosling has been working on a prototype store a year ago, they almost demonstrated it at last year's JavaOne (Gosling offhandedly mentioned that this might not have been the right decision). They've invested real time into the effort and are now unveiling a Beta product (Schwartz) "We have created a storefront for the Java platform, the objective of the storefront is to give an individual developer who has a great idea access to billions of consumers."

Go to to see the consumer side of the store. If you are interested in development, go to click on the developer button, you can become a developer and submit stuff right to the store. There is no "cash register", in the prototype there were six different ways of collecting money. They are still thinking about ways to collect money (they are still in BETA)

Three basic parts to the App Store: ingest you create the content and submit it to the store from the toolset itself, distribution they will then present the applications to "hundreds and hundreds of millions of people throughout the world", third they want to "get the cash register right" (Schwartz) at some point they are going to inject commerce into the system but they want to get community feedback before implementing that part of the system. They are going to manage deployment to desktops via the Java update mechanism.

The store interface will allow users to preview applications, search applications. Gosling demonstrated a Solitaire application. Gosling also demonstrated something called "Runescape" a free Java game created by Jagex Ltd.. Schwartz then asked Mark Gerhard CEO of Jagex to talk about Runescape (which appears to be something akin to World of Warcraft except from a third-person perspective). 165 millions accounts on a monthly basis. Schwartz and Gerhard engaged in a back and forth about distribution and adoption. Gerhard talked about how the Java Store being introduced would positively impact business. Schwartz: "We'll try to help you solve" [the biggest problem] "getting access to the distribution so you can create a business model around it"

"Give the whole community access to billions of users, how do you get access to every corner of the Earth, every corner of the market." "There is probably one target audience for the work that James and the community has done, it is the one group that matters the most to Sun, the developer community." Schwartz then proceeded to give Gosling a mountain of praise talking about what "leadership" is. Schwartz goes on and on about leadership and courage, and proceeds to invite Scott McNealy on to the stage. (I hate to be negative, but it certainly sounded like a goodbye party for Schwartz at this point.) Then McNealy, Schwartz, and Gosling start going through some self-congratulatory retrospectives (ok, I'll be fair, this is what Keynotes are for).

Aside: How odd must it be to be standing on a stage during a Keynote watching a video about how great you are? Anyone else think this is a little strange? Ok, so then we've got people launching shirts into the audience.

Larry Ellison Shows Up

Alright, look! Larry's on the stage. Ellison: "Oracle's middleware strategy is based 100% on Java, Java is a very attractive platform for us because it is open. And it allows us to extend the platform" and "our whole next generation of business applications, the Fusion suite, is built entirely on Java" and "we think it is going to be particularly attractive in the marketplace because so many people in the community know Java" and "Based on the foundation created here in Sun, we have invested heavily and we're going to accelerate our investment."

McNealy: "Add the two R+D numbers, add Oracle and Sun R+D we're talking 4 to 5 billion dollars R+D budget" Ellison: "Other than the database which was based on the SQL language which was our origin, everything that sits atop the database, all of our products are based on Java." , more Ellison "one of the things we're looking forward to is seeing libraries coming out of [the group] that are JavaFX based" and "Don't expect a lot of changes, just an expanded investment and a lot of investment coming from Oracle."

The most interesting Ellison quote of the morning "Thank you James [Gosling], suffering programmers will [thank you] for the rest of their lives because they don't have to program in AJAX any more."

Ellison's parting words of wisdom: "I'm reading a lot in the newspaper about devices based on Java that are Android devices. That is very exciting." and "They are going to be netbook based and running Android, I think we can see lots of devices... some are going to come from Google, I see no reason why those devices couldn't come from Sun-Oracle... They will be computers, but fundamentally based on Java and JavaFX.... Not only from Google, but also from Sun."

End of keynote, a sort of sad goodbye from McNealy. (Again, it has the feeling of a goodbye party for a number of key players despite Ellison's statement that he sees few changes.")

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1 Comment

wow. Ellison is really must have fallen off his golden rocker onto his head, hard.

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