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JavaOne: Sun seeks digital life

If serverside developers and enterprise architects were left feeling forgotten by last year’s JavaOne conference, then they’ll be feeling positively orphaned by this year’s major keynote address.

Sun Microsystems executive vice president for software Rich Green hammered away on how Java provides “a high performance virtual machine” capable of running all your digital life applications. Amazon demonstrated a handheld media devices for downloading and reading books, magazines and newspapers. Sony Ericsson showed off showed off an upcoming unified media device (think iPhone). Rock ‘n’ Roll legend Neil Young stopped by to talk about why he loves Blu-ray technology.

Green did mention that these New Age applications rely upon a foundation of services that can be mashed up, but that was about as close as the session go to enterprise development. Even the GlassFish news revolved around how the OSGi-enabled modularity of v3 will allow GlassFish to become a multimedia app server not solely associated with the server.

Sun president and CEO Jonathan Schwartz claimed his company is “focusing on users.” He threw in enterprises at the end of his list of who those users might be, but it gave the distinct impression that enterprises are becoming a bit of an afterthought with the Java braintrust.

“There’s clearly a battle developing for what will be that next great developer platform,” Schwartz said.

With whom he didn’t say. He also didn’t explain how enterprises will leverage that platform other than RIA development for clients. Sun seems to have a clear picture for where it wants to be in consumer-based digital life in the future. Whether it has a growing vision for how to help enterprises with development problems they have today remains a mystery.

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