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JAVA Becomes Sun's Face On Wall Street

By: David Utter

Sun Microsystems plans to retire its SUNW ticker symbol in favor of JAVA, in order to better represent what the company focuses on these days.

JAVA Becomes Sun's Face On Wall StreetThe SUNW ticker symbolized the Sun workstations that once served as the company's bread and butter. Linus Torvalds created Linux, which took x86 hardware and gave it capabilities similar to the vastly more expensive Sparc architecture and the once-closed source Solaris operating system.

IT shops shifted away from expensive workstations in droves over the past several years. Sun's ticker change, announced by company CEO Jonathan Schwartz, reflects the company's shift to a far better known brand:

the number of people who know Java swamps the number of people who know Sun. Or SUNW, the symbol under which Sun Microsystems, Inc. equity is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. SUNW certainly has some nostalgic value - it stands for "Stanford University Network Workstation," and heralds back to Sun's cherished roots (in academia). Granted, lots of folks on Wall Street know SUNW, given its status as among the most highly traded stocks in the world (the SUNW symbol shows up daily in the listings of most highly traded securities).

But SUNW represents the past, and its not without a nostalgic nod that we've decided to look ahead.

JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that's inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability).

On the question of profitability, ZDNet blogger Larry Dignan pointed out that "Sun doesnt break out Java revenue. We have no idea how Sun monetizes the technology or makes its quarters with it."

Investors may be actively trading SUNW in heavy volume, as Schwartz said, but those trades aren't pushing the price in any meaningful way. The last day of SUNW trading has been in the neighborhood of 4.95 in early trading.

About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for InternetFinancialNews and WebProNews covering technology and business.

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