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Recently, I got a chance to present about my latest hobby – Netbeans Platform, for the Sun University Relations Programme, an effort by Sun to reach out to Indian universities. I gave a small presentation, largely adapted from Roman Strobl’s fantastic Netbeans 5.0 demo series, to a gang of 60 students from Pondicherry, visiting Sun’s India Engineering Center, Bangalore as part of the programme. 

Though IMHO, Sun is a bit late to enter this field(Microsoft was the pioneer in this field in India, I must accept), I have realized that we have a definite edge over other companies which try to evangelize their products amongst students.

I would be a fool to say that Sun’s product offerings are always technically more innovative or complex than competitors’ offerings. No. Our competitors have some great stuff too. Then what gives us an edge?

The answer is Open Source.

As a part of Sun’s initiative, almost all developer tools are going to be open sourced. OpenSolaris has set the trend. Netbeans has establised a milestone, and open sourcing of Java is the zenith of Sun’s commitment to open source.

So, when we present about some technology to these “free radicals”, we don’t urge them to just use it, rather we can urge them to come, join us and improve it.

Students get a feeling that they are not just customers, they are our developers! And they just love this 🙂

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