Ok, so it's obvious what Sun gets out of this - money and a lot of press, both of which they've needed. They also get help with some of their most critical projects.
What does Google get? I'm not seeing it, yet.
I mean, I doubt if the extra few Google Toolbar installs that result from it being bundled with Java will really make much of a difference. And they could've easily assisted with OpenOffice and OpenSolaris (note the "Open" in both names) without paying Sun for it. And buying Sun hardware? Unless Sun has improved without me noticing it, that's... well, this is a public post, so I probably shouldn't say what it's like. But it's not a sound investment, if you ask me. I suppose they get some good will from the 30 people out there who still think that Sun has the best technology out there.
Now, there are obvious advantages to Google to getting involved in projects like OpenOffice. For one, it's going to piss off Microsoft, and that's always a good thing. For another, with Google's experiments in rich web apps using toolkits like Ajax, well, why not offer an Office suite - or at least parts of it - over the web? And if you're going to do that, and there's an existing open source framework you can take and slap a web interface on top of it, well, that makes sense, right? The problem is that they could've done that without paying Sun or committing to purchasing their hardware or anything else. So why do that?
I'm a bit mystified, I will admit, but it could just be because it's 2 am and I'm sleep deprived. Maybe it'll make more sense to me tomorrow.
(Read all about it: http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-5888701.html )