'Snoogle' Gabfest Brings On The FUD - InformationWeek

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10/7/2005
08:36 AM
Steven Burke
Steven Burke
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'Snoogle' Gabfest Brings On The FUD

If cheap cliches could build a business, says Steven Burke, Google's and Sun's FUD-fueled, content-free performance last week could have made everyone a millioinaire.

STEVEN BURKE
Can be reached at (781) 839-1221 or via e-mail at [email protected].
Consider yourself in deep trouble when you resort to clichs like “all-star” and “trailblazing.” That was certainly the case last week when Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy and Google CEO Eric Schmidt got together to talk about how they were going to reshape the technology landscape. All of the “shucks, we are the greatest technologists in the world” chatter aside, the one fact that emerged from their announcement is that Sun will include the Google toolbar as an option in downloads of the Java Runtime environment from Java.com. Oh, and yes, Google is going to buy Sun servers and Sun is going to advertise on Google. Oh, and one other thing, the deal “kicks off further collaboration” between the companies on projects like OpenOffice.org, the open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. The only thing trailblazing about this deal is the “Wizard of Oz” act being perpetrated on solution providers of all stripes. IBM used to be accused of perpetrating FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Sun and Google now stand accused of “sunoogling” (a form of hypnosis used to put solution providers into a dream state).

Technology is not some holy grail sought out by customers who spend their days and nights searching for the next great tool. It has to solve business problems, and it has to be sold. Microsoft, by the way, has never been great at technology but has always been great at marketing and selling software with an army of channel partners. For his part, David Tan, CTO of Chips Computer Consulting, a Microsoft partner in Lake Success, N.Y., says the Sun-Google deal bears watching, but he expects it could be two to three years before the companies have something that could take on Microsoft Office. Tan also points out that Sun and Google have relatively little channel presence compared with Microsoft. “They need to embrace the channel and expand their channel programs if they are going to be successful,” he said. “You can have the greatest technology in the world, but if you don’t have partners selling it, it isn’t going to make headway.”

Ordinary human beings who actually work for a living are not sitting at their desks downloading the latest Java Runtime. Get a life, guys. The dot-com meltdown was supposed to take the fluff out of the market. But it apparently hasn’t seeped down to the Sun and Google cognoscenti. They must be sunoogling.

Do you sunoogle? Let me know at (781) 839-1221 or via e-mail at [email protected]

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