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Sun to reveal its software numbers

Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's COO, is quoted by InfoWorld as stating that Sun Microsystems will soon begin breaking out the revenues from the company's software business. The question is ... why now?

First, if the software revenues are big enough, are showing profitability (or something close), and are demonstrating year-by-year growth in the double digits, this may provide the street with something more to go on with respect to the company's valuation. That would be just good sense.

Another thought: Besides doing a better job at providing transparency to the company's revenues and where the margins are, could this be a precursor to either (a) creating a separately tracked stock or (b) creating a separate, Sun software (and services ?) company -- distinct from the hardware / systems company?

Link: Sun to break out software revenue

... In an interview at the conference here, Sun President and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Schwartz told IDG News Service that the company will soon begin reporting the revenue from its software business. Currently, the company reports only systems, storage, and services revenue. He did not provide a time frame for when the change will be made.

The move may provide insight into how much revenue Sun derives from its Java technology licensing business, something the company has never fully disclosed since it introduced the technology in 1996. Sun executives long have been lambasted for not revealing how much money the company actually makes from Java licensing, which Schwartz said is a profitable business at the company.

However, because the company sees Java's true value not in licensing but as a driver for its infrastructure business, Sun has never felt the need to report how much money it derives from Java licensing, he said. ...

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