According to Sun chief executive Jonathan Schwartz, the reasons behind this change were related to the fact that the Java brand is more recognized than Sun. In a recent blog posting, Schwartz states the following:

Because Java touches nearly everyone – everyone – who touches the internet. Hundreds of millions of users see Java, and its ubiquitous logo, every day. On PC’s, mobile phones, game consoles – you name it, wherever the network travels, the odds are good Java’s powering a portion of the experience.

What’s that distribution and awareness worth to us? It’s hard to say – brands, like employees, aren’t expenses, they’re investments. Measuring their value is more art than science. But there’s no doubt in my mind more people know Java than Sun Microsystems. There’s similarly no doubt they know Java more than nearly any other brand on the internet.”

Basically, this change is only symbolic and should have no effect on Sun’s business. However, it’s certainly going to cause a bit of confusion, at least at first.

The previous acronym stood for Stanford University Network Workstation.

On the other hand, the move is sure to attract some criticism. After all, if Sun wanted so much to take a larger bite out of JAVA’s glory, it should’ve also changed the company name to JAVA.