Director of GlassFish Product Mgmt/Mkting
The reason we decided to provide the introductory training for free, was because we wanted to match the true way people adopt software. Individuals adopt software through a stepwise path - awareness, download, trial, etc. up until they go into production and define long term maintenance strategies. We want developers, SI's, ISV's, etc., to be able to download the software and be productive within a very short time.
This aligns with our desire to provide:
1.) Easy Access to Software
- use the open source for eval, development, rapid deployment
2.) Complete Software
- with rich functionality
- with no need to assemble, compile, pre-test, or figure out post patch alignment
3.) Simple to Use Software
- end the madness of increasingly complex software (which increases probability of error)
4.) Partnership, Mentorship, Leadership in the Open Source Eco-System
- sometimes we'll partner (Liferay or Project Metro with Microsoft), sometimes we'll Mentor (Ericsson and Project Sailfin) and sometimes we'll lead (Java EE)
We want to help others make money with our projects so they (developers, project leaders, ISV's, SI's, OEM's, resellers, etc.) find Sun an advantage to them in every way. That is why we want them to have free training immediately and why you'll see us releasing a fully integrated, supported, multi-OS Web Stack (LAMP/SAMP/WAMP/MAMP, etc.), see Java EE 6 focusing on profiles and simplicity, see Sun partnering with companies like Liferay and others TBA and GlassFish V3 supporting OSGi modularity, plus the upcoming support for all the most popular developer tools.
And note: one additional reason for the above - is I believe that developing projects in open source (with a true, lead/mentor/partner strategy) will advance web technologies far faster than we have seen over the last 10 - 15 years. Vendors with closed platforms work hardest to get customers attracted and then locked-in to their platforms so that they can then harvest long term revenue from them - but this caused those vendors to care less about advancing the technology than on either capturing, locking-in or grabbing more revenue from their existing customers. Sun's open source methods force our projects to grow with the needs and innovations of our incredibly innovative community of individuals and groups. And to do this - we need to help our community members get productive quickly - thus easy to download - free initial training.