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Sun and open-source events changed as recession bites

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Update Sun Microsystems has scrapped its industry analyst conference held annually in San Francisco, California. It was scheduled for February.

In past years, Sun has paid for flights and accommodation for industry and financial analysts, who'd come to hear the company's strategy for the coming year and question executives. It's a familiar format also used by other big tech companies.

Sun told us, though, it's now planning a series of smaller quarterly events, with one due at this summer's annual JavaOne. Sun said the once-a-year event provided limited opportunities to meet with Sun executives and placed certain restrictions on who could attend.

The February summit is being replaced by a web cast that will see chief executive Jonathan Schwartz, chief financial officer Mike Lehman and executive vice president of global sales and services Peter Ryan provide analysts with a business update.

Unlike the in-person San Francisco event, the coming web cast will not be open to questions.

Sun cited "time constraints and "technical issues" for not taking questions, but it's unlikely to win favor among a community that'll want answers to where Sun is headed in the absence of growth and profits, and in the wake of the fact that Sun's largest share holder - Southeastern Asset Management - has secured two new independent directors on Sun's board as part of a move to "realize the company's true economic value."

It's the latest IT event to undergo change as companies cut their travel budgets and organizers trim the marketing budgets that usually fund such events.

Novell last month said it was cancelling its annual BrainShare, scheduled for March in Salt Lake City, Utah, saying customers and partners are under pressure to cut their costs.

The Linux company promised to announce replacement events and online activities this month.

The ever-popular O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), meanwhile, is being moved from its Portland, Oregon, setting to San Jose, California. San Jose is in the heart of Silicon Valley and home to many IT events. The move is likely to make OSCON easier to reach and justify attending for many.®

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