Sun put the WHAT in dot-com?

by Jay Bolton

I'll make this short and sweet. I like Sun products, usually. I truly do. Their salespeople just weren't thinking when they did this. You've all heard the following slogan: "We put the dot in dot-com!" It's from Sun Microsystems, the good people who brought you the Sun 3 and the SPARCstation. I have spent a good deal of time caring for and restoring such systems. These are the good people bringing you the Ultra/10 and all manner of spectacular modern computing systems. I urge you, the informed consumer, to cry out in anguish. I looked up the word "dot" and found definition #1:

 
Main Entry: dot
Function: noun
Etymology: (assumed) Middle English, from Old English
dott head of a boil; akin to Old High German tutta nipple
Date: 1674
1 : a small spot : SPECK

Apparently Sun's marketing organization doesn't think very highly of its systems. They put the small spot, or speck, in dot-com. These people don't think about what they're saying. They find something that sounds cute and turn it into raw market hype. As if this wasn't bad enough, I saw in the trade rags an ad that read "Sun Enterprise Servers: The fastest way to dot-com your business-critical data." If you ask Network Solutions, to dot-com (if it's a verb at all) is to make available on the web. I'd like to you take a moment and think about all the business-critical data your company has. How much of it do you really want on the web? Proprietary secrets? Ledgers? Payroll information? Bank accounts? Tax Records? How much of this do you want exposed? Even if it's not made available directly, the closer this data is to machines that are on the web, the less secure it is.

I think it's pretty clear that this isn't what Sun is trying to sell. Why do they say things like this if it isn't what they mean? The marketing people do this for two reasons: 1) They don't understand the products they are trying to sell. 2) They don't think you understand the products you're going to buy. Either way, they give up trying to give you useful information and instead pull you in with catchy phrases that (especially in this case) aren't well thought out. It's sales by fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) and you don't have to buy it.


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