Indian developers now under Sun's spotlight

Monday, 24 March 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: India's IT capital has become the battleground for giants Microsoft and Sun Microsystems to garner support among the developer community.

Four months ago, it was the Microsoft chief Bill Gates who paid encomiums to Indian developers and urged them to work on his company's technologies to provide cost effective solutions.

Saturday saw Sun Microsystems co-founder and CEO, Scott McNealy, place similar objectives before a 2,000 strong developer community - but with his company's technologies.

Bowled over by the attendance at the Sun Tech Days conference on the theme "Survive the test of time", McNealy did not spare the opportunity to drive home his point that Sun's Java platform was independent while the archrival's platform was dependent upon the Microsoft Network platform.

Said to be the IT industry's most outspoken CEO, McNealy stated Microsoft was appealing a U.S. court order asking Microsoft to bundle Java with Windows.

"They are pleading against it, but they will run out of lawyers. This is mankind versus Microsoft. We are winning," he said to thunderous applause.

He added that both platforms were used by multi-million developers and were gaining share among them.

Microsoft and Sun are competing to lure software developers in India to use their technologies to develop programmes for the world market.

The number of software developers is expected to touch 1.3 million in the next four years from the current 500,000.

Gates had told the developers in November that the PC platform was reaching a level where it was building mainframe like capabilities.

"Software by being comprehensive can save money by avoiding other add on pieces of software. You can save money in terms of speed of development or run on less expensive hardware," Gates had said.

McNealy said : "When your office is on fire, you don't go through your Windows system to reach the fire station. You pick up the telephone."

That was his way of presenting of Sun's core strategies of attack cost and complexity, accelerate network service deployment and unleash mobility with security.

He wanted developers to work on programmes to provide campus-to-campus roaming for Sun's smart card that could be put into any monitor to access data from anywhere.

"We want you to help us build a non-Microsoft desktop with a smart card recorder and give an alternative to Microsoft architecture," McNealy said.

The way to bridging the digital divide was not by putting a personal computer on "everybody's desk or everybody's lap. Our vision is everything and everybody connected to the network."

"The shelf life of a technology is the same as the shelf life of a banana. We need to get moving," he added.

He dispelled doubts about the global economic slowdown having an impact on the company. Sun was on track, he maintained.

"Earnings are an opinion, cash is a fact after the new accounting practices have come in." The company has cash reserves of $5.3 billion.

McNealy had a closed door meeting with Infosys technologies CEO Nandan Nilekani on the sidelines of the developer conference. He later visited Wipro where he met Chairman Azim Premji.

Gates had addressed developers at the Infosys campus as well as at the Wipro campus.
Source: IANS
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