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Sun looks for new direction for Network.com

Company appears to have put its pioneering grid-computing effort on hold until it gets an idea of how to resurrect it.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read
Network.com

Sun Microsystems appears to have put its utility computing effort, Network.com, on hold until it gets an idea of how to resurrect it.

The pioneering computing effort, which launched two years ago, offered pay-per-use computing infrastructure for high-performance computing applications without forcing customers to buy expensive IT equipment. However, Network.com has only 13 customers and has stopped accepting new customers, according to a report on the Register.com.

Dave Douglas, senior vice president of cloud computing and developer platforms group, told reporters Tuesday that the service is in transition but was reluctant to offer specifics on the direction the company would go with the service.

"We still have a lot of customers using it, but it's not an active development focus for us," he said, according to a report on ChannelWeb.

The Network.com page has been changed with a statement headlined "We're making changes":

Network.com is in transition as we add some exciting new options. We're not ready to show off what we are working on just yet, but we'd like to hear from you, and we'd like to keep in touch.

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz discussed Network.com during an interview with CNET News' Dan Farber in May.

"It's important for us to be a neutral technology supplier to developers and to operate as a service for those who don't have the wherewithal to buy their own infrastructure," Schwartz said at the time. "Network.com is the backplane for everything we build--servers, MySQL, JavaFX, tape storage, and the software stack."

However, the Web site posting appears to be a tacit admission that its strategy hasn't panned out.