When Time magazine called Java one of the 10 best products of 1995, a new American marketing legend was born. Who's to say whether Sun Microsystems' prized technology would have fared so well if its name had remained Oak or Greentalk, two of the earlier choices.
We all know the story: Give away an elegant, open source programming environment and the world will beat a path to your door. No sweat, no matter what you decide to call it. The people charged with establishing a brand identity for Sun's programming language for next-generation application developers, though, decided upon a coffee metaphor for their trademark. Oak, the previous name, was taken. But why they chose Java by their own accounts, was something of a mystery.