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Sun: Clever as a...

At Sun's invitation, I spent an hour with EVP and manager of Sun's System's group, John Fowler yesterday. Surprisingly, the meeting came just a week before Sun announces its FYQ1 numbers.
Normally, when a company lets you meet with someone as senior as John Fowler before it announces numbers, it's a clear sign that the numbers will be good. After all, the assumption is that you'll talk extensively about the business - and if what's said doesn't jibe with the earnings report, the reporter has a lot of room to paint the executive as either out of touch or perhaps slightly touched.

But Sun has never been a company to play by the rules when it comes to making statements to the press. Scott McNealy is famous for his rips at the likes of Intel and Microsoft, both now business partners of Sun. Jonathan Schwartz is the poster child for the blogging CEO - a fact that seems to be Sun's primary distinguishing feature these days.

As expected, Fowler sees nothing but good things for Sun's systems group. So much so that when asked where Sun needed to execute in order to maintain double digit growth, Fowler spoke of building his distribution channel. Surprising for a technologist like Fowler. So is there a larger news story here? We'll see when Sun's earning report comes out on the 5th.