An anonymous reader writes "Sun Microsystems appears to be shifting its focus back to research, after several years of promoting its commodity servers and Java software. Earlier this week, it talked about its new Andy Bechtolsheim-designed video server in the New York Times. Yesterday, it invited reporters in to preview its plans to develop faster switches, new programming languages, and 3-D virtual workplaces. Robert Sproull, director of Sun Labs, made clear that Sun has big ambitions. 'General purpose computers have to be rethought,' he said. Among the projects close to leaving the labs is Project Crossbow, an evolution of the networking stack in Solaris; Project Sedna, a next generation switch for storage-area networks; and MPK20, a virtual workspace built on top of Sun's Darkstar gaming server."