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Sun loses an open-source evangelist

Barton George has left the building, but won't be taking Sun's business with him.

The VAR Guy caught the departure of Barton George, a top open-source evangelist at Sun. Good news for George, who is heading to Lombardi Software to work on its cloud-based Blueprint product.

Bad news for Sun?

The VAR Guy suggests that George's employment gain is Sun's loss:

He was, after all, a true open source evangelist within Sun. And he was one of the key people who could describe why Ubuntu Linux was such a promising platform for Sun's future success.

To an extent, I agree. But it's important to keep in mind that Sun's chief open-source evangelist--Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO--is still firmly at the helm. With Schwartz in charge, Sun won't lack for open-source fervor.

At any rate, it's not evangelism that Sun needs right now. It's growth and revenue. Sun has had its struggles, and will continue to have them. But it's also starting to kick serious tail in storage. This must remain Sun's chief focus and, good as George was for Sun, his departure won't move the needle on revenue. Not in the short term.

As for what George's departure says for Sun's fortunes, I'm not sure I see much in that. Barton's choice of employers may suggest that he was looking for a break from pressures of pulling money out of open source. He may find that a cloud-based offering may be no easier to monetize, but surely it's the fresh challenge that drew him.