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Sun Scraps Ticker Symbol

In one of the summer's strangest marketing moves, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz revealed that the vendor's SUNW Nasdaq ticker symbol will be retired next week.

SUNW will be replaced by JAVA, a reference to the programming language developed by Sun back in the 90s.

Schwartz, the self-proclaimed "torch bearer for network computing," thinks the marketing goalposts have shifted. "There's no doubt in my mind more people know Java than Sun Microsystems," wrote the CEO in his blog today. "Ask a teenager if they know Java, and they'll point to their favorite mobile applications, the video uploader for their social network, or their game console. [Ed. note: Me, I'd point to Krakatoa, east thereof...] Global companies like Google and eBay (and Vodafone and Citigroup) are built on Java."

SUNW, which stands for Stanford University Network, reflects Sun's roots in academia, but Schwartz thinks it's time for a change. "SUNW represents the past, and its not without a nostalgic nod that we've decided to look ahead," wrote Schwartz.

It seems strange to make such a public gesture around something like a ticker symbol. Why would a company change its financial identity just to raise the profile of a technology with which it is already synonymous?

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