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McNealy Steps Down as Sun Microsystems CEO 325

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the passing-the-torch dept.
SlashdotOgre writes "Mercury News reports that Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, will be stepping down from his role as CEO. McNealy will continue as chairman, and fellow co-founder Jonathan Schwartz will now take the helm."
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McNealy Steps Down as Sun Microsystems CEO

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  • Fellow co-founder (Score:5, Informative)

    by grahamsz (150076) on Monday April 24, 2006 @06:49PM (#15193411) Homepage Journal
    Schwartz is not a co-founder of Sun - He joined the company in 1996!

    http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/media/ceo/mgt_schwartz .html [sun.com]
    • by fm6 (162816) on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:19PM (#15193558) Homepage Journal
      If you want to get technical, neither is McNealy. He was one of the first people recruited by Khosla and Bechtolsheim, but he had nothing to do with the initial creation of the company.

      Schwartz actually did found a company: Lighthouse Design [wikipedia.org], a NextStep application developer that Sun bought out in 1996, and turned into the core of their Java Applications Group, which was supposed to develop applications for those Java-based network computers that were going to put Microsoft out of business.

      What's always bugged me is that McNealy spent a ton of money to acquire LD and the other companies that got folded into JAG — all of which was wasted, because it soon became obvious that nobody was going to buy network computers, and there was no reason to keep JAG going. JAG wasn't the first, and it wasn't the last ill-conceived attempt by Sun to win the desktop war with Microsoft, and McNealy has never been called to account for all the money he wasted on that war — a war that already a conspicuous victory for Microsoft long before Sun even got involved.

      Instead, McNealy is being forced out for failing to sell high-end computers at a time when nobody's buying them. Wall Street is stupid.

      • "JAG wasn't the first, and it wasn't the last ill-conceived attempt by Sun to win the desktop war with Microsoft, and McNealy has never been called to account for all the money he wasted on that war -- a war that already a conspicuous victory for Microsoft long before Sun even got involved."

        You've got that right. I never understood how Sun was going to make any money from the MS war (other than the antitrust settlement).

        Consider Java. Has Sun recovered all the money spent on it? By its very nature it couldn
        • Scott strategy was simple. Lots and lots of companies in the mid 90's were finding that they really didn't like the PC model (users install there own software) and were moving back towards a managed model with NT. But fundamentally if you are going to toss the primary advantage of the PC OS (user installed software) why not just go to dumb X terms and get all the advantages of a fully managed solution?
          • Simple or not the strategy was flawed from the start. You have to offer an alternative that meets the needs of the customers you want to convert. Telling those customers in effect that they shouldn't need what you won't give them isn't going to work. The primary advantage of the PC OS in my view isn't user installed software but compatiblity with applications your staff already knows how to use.
            • The primary advantage of the PC OS in my view isn't user installed software but compatiblity with applications your staff already knows how to use.

              Its 10 years later. The issue of application lock in was not nearly so well understood then, that's really a PC phenomena so its not surprising that people not using PCs wouldn't have seen it. Think of your typical Linux user what applications do they use that they couldn't switch away from? That was the case for Unix apps, either they were

              a) very standard:
      • The reality is that you can get away with alot whilst you can cover your losses.
      • The cost of aquiring Lighthouse was worse than that. If you'll recall Schwartz was put in charge of their startup investing. Not only did he bomb out big time on those investments, but he also invested under his own name and lost such a huge bundle he was going to be forced to declare bankrupcy.... until Sun bailed out his debts (I forget how much, but it was several million). For his fantastic investment insight.... he was promoted.

        As the "fellow co-founder" line points out, this guy is an excellent self-p
    • by MOBE2001 (263700)
      Co-founder or not, my advice to Schwartz is the following. Don't try to beat either Linux or Microsoft at their games. You will lose. I suggest instead that you do something that will take the rest of the industry completely by surprise. Invest your remaining resources into the next big thing, the one thing that will solve the biggest problem in the computer industry: unreliability. Put all your money in non-algorithmic, signal-based, synchronous software. It will revolutionize both the hardware and the sof
  • Knowing that Scott was his only barrier to TWD (Total World Domination) apart from Bill The Gates, Larry Ellison seizes the moment to purchase the once-vaunted Stanford University Network for an undisclosed sum and a few cases of Jolt Cola.

    Scott, meanwhile, is rumored to be now working as "technology consultant" for the .NET division of Microsoft as "C# evangelist."
  • Hey Scott (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 24, 2006 @06:53PM (#15193437)
    Good riddance and may the Schwartz be with you (ASAP).
  • by kbahey (102895) on Monday April 24, 2006 @06:54PM (#15193440) Homepage
    I am surprised the editors did not link to this rumor that McNealy is stepping down from a few days ago on Slashdot [slashdot.org].

    Funny McNealy dismissed this as a 22 year old rumor only a few days ago.
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:02PM (#15193478)
      Funny McNealy dismissed this as a 22 year old rumor only a few days ago.

      Well it was a 22 year old rumor a few days ago...
    • I am surprised the editors did not link to this rumor that McNealy is stepping down from a few days ago on Slashdot.

      Funny McNealy dismissed this as a 22 year old rumor only a few days ago.


      a) most rumors are true, they sometimes take more than a lifetime to be confirmed or believed

      b) rumor has it that slashdot editors don't know what is posted on slashdot hence the frequent inability for there to be unique or follow up articles

      On topic, I don't know if a new CEO will help Sun. I guess it could not hurt them
    • Funny McNealy dismissed this as a 22 year old rumor only a few days ago.

      I remmember thinking at the time - if this was a wild rumor, he would not have commented on it. They only deny it when it true or close to it. Otherwise they just laugh in private.

      -Em
  • That's odd... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Monday April 24, 2006 @06:57PM (#15193458) Journal
    Schwartz is a PR genius, and the way he continuously trolls the Linux journalist/zealot community for attention is masterful. But that seems like a strange fit for the CEO position.

    At any rate, this should prompt the 30-something crowd here and elsewhere to reflect on just what the hell they've been doing with thir careers while this guy becomes the CEO of Sun...

    • Re:That's odd... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kfg (145172) on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:21PM (#15193562)
      At any rate, this should prompt the 30-something crowd here and elsewhere to reflect on just what the hell they've been doing with thir careers while this guy becomes the CEO of Sun...

      In the words of the great Tom Lehrer:

      "It's a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age. . .he'd been dead for three years."

      KFG
    • Re:That's odd... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rco3 (198978) on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:24PM (#15193573) Homepage
      Excellent point. Let's see, what have I been doing with the last 18 years of my life... Ooh! Ooh! I've been NOT becoming a suit! I don't have to fucking TOUCH business or management! I can sit back and do engineering and research without having to do any of the bullshit that McNealy and Schwartz have to do.

      Do they make more money? Yes. Do I care? Amazingly enough, not so much. Right now I have a roof over my head, food on the table, health insurance, decent transportation, daycare for the munchkin - and approximately 50% of my income is currently in the "disposable" column - meaning unallocated and available for new cars, nicer houses, fantastic stereo systems, huge monitors, etc. Next year, when I go full time, it gets better.

      So thanks for pointing out what a difference there is between my position and Schwartz's. He does stuff I don't want to do, and gets paid more than he needs for doing it. I do what I love, and get paid more than I need for doing it. Sounds like I chose the right path. That was your point, right?


      • You forgot something else: your employment is more portable than his is. If you get tired of what you're doing or someone gets hit by a bus and starts handing down policies you don't want to swallow, you can fold up your tent and play in someone else's sandbox.

        Sure, he's the one who can hand down the policies, and could throw his weight around, but I don't think everyone truly enjoys being around others while being a career prick.

        You definitely (and many other techies) generally have a better life.

        W
        • Unless you're the guy at the top. In that case, YOU are the one handing down policies and YOU decide the color/shape of both the tent and the sandbox. It's good to be the boss.

          But, of course, more $$ usually means more stress. But some people like the stress while others cave in from it.
      • Re:That's odd... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Tyr_7BE (461429)
        Before you take such a smug tone, consider that the "suits" are the ones dictating what engineering and research you'll be doing. It's a matter of where you want to fit in. Do you want to be at the helm, leading the company, or do you want to back the visionary at the helm in the form of taking orders?
      • No, his point was trolling to drag out the insecure people who feel the need to puff up their feathers and show everyone how big they are.
      • Re:That's odd... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Frogbert (589961)
        I know you didn't ask for my advice but I'll give it anyway. Don't bother going full time, you can't put a price on free time. Especially if you have kids.
    • At any rate, this should prompt the 30-something crowd here and elsewhere to reflect on just what the hell they've been doing with thir careers while this guy becomes the CEO of Sun...

      If that isn't a troll, will you call me BadAnalogyGuy?

      "At any rate, Mother Teresa's actions should prompt the 30-something crowd here and elsewhere to reflect on just what the hell they've been doing with their lifes while this woman became the Leader of Missionaries of Charity..."

    • > At any rate, this should prompt the 30-something crowd here and elsewhere to reflect on just what the hell they've been doing with thir careers while this guy becomes the CEO of Sun...

      Bill Gates is less than two months younger than I am. :-(

      I could solve world hunger and I'd still be wearing my name in on oval on my shirt in comparison.

    • Re:That's odd... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032)
      Schwartz is a PR genius

      If he were a "PR genius", he'd be attracting positive attention.

      -jcr
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday April 24, 2006 @06:59PM (#15193462)
    "Since joining Sun in 1996, Jonathan has been a driving force within the Company. His leadership has been instrumental in streamlining Sun's operations, building a solidly competitive product line, securing key acquisitions and major partner relationships and positioning us globally and across industries to reap the benefits of the networked marketplace," said McNealy.

    That much PR bullshit barfed in one statement tells me the actual translation is:

    "I leave this company in a mess. Jonathan is the one in deep doodoo now, and I'm bloody out here. Farewell sucker."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:02PM (#15193479)
    How would Java evolve without Sun to "guide" it. What would Sun certifications mean without Sun there to back it up?

    It seems that Sun is being hit hard because there's little money in the vertically scalable hardware as that has been replaced with better solutions for horizontal scalability.

    If Sun does go out of business, Java may become fragmented and start losing the solid base it has around it.

    The decision to go with Sun at quite a number of companies I've worked at has been based on the fact that Sun is strong, Sun will be around for a while, Sun will continue development and support. Which has all been true for quite some time now.

    However, this is definitely one of the weakest points in Sun's lifetime and it may scare away potential enterprise level decision makers into going with Java and Solaris.
    • by hrvatska (790627) on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:35PM (#15193623)
      How would Java evolve without Sun to "guide" it. What would Sun certifications mean without Sun there to back it up?

      IBM and a passel of other organizations who have based their application strategies on Java would put together an open source consortium that would support and guide Java. Something along the lines of the Eclipse [eclipse.org] or Apache [apache.org] foundations.

    • Could this have any future implications on opening up Java to the OSS community, or would that be wishful thinking?
    • by javacowboy (222023) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:10PM (#15194240)
      How did we go from McNealy leaving Sun to Sun going out of business and Java being "abandoned". Do I sense wishful thinking on your part? And you get moded "insightful"?

      How did you infer that Sun was going out of business? They're not consistently profitable, but they're not bleeding red ink either. The company also has healthy cash reserves.

      As for Java, the spec is wide open for anybody to implement, which the Apache Harmony project is in the process of doing. Sun may head the JCP, but other companies like IBM, Oracle, and BAE would pick up the slack, as they have too much invested in Java to abandon it.
  • heh (Score:2, Redundant)

    by jbridge21 (90597)
    From Friday:

    Asked if he is planning to step down, McNealy characterized the possibility as merely a rumor, without directly answering the question. "That rumor is about 22 years old and still chuggin'," he wrote in an e-mail.
    • Re:heh (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kadin2048 (468275)
      Actually that's a really good way to answer the question. He never actually denied anything, but he definitely made it seem like it was a denial, right up until the truth broke, when in reconsideration it was everything but.

      I wonder if a lawyer advised him to say that or if he decided on it himself. I guess it's not stunningly creative or anything, but it's not bad. You got to give him a little bit of credit.

      He had me fooled for a few days. (Not that I really follow Sun that closely, so I'm not tough to foo
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:04PM (#15193485) Homepage Journal
    McNealy was resistant to a massive layoffs (25-35%), which analysts say are the only way to revamp Sun at this point.

    More importantly, revamp as what? Big iron only?

    I dunno
    • ask a "sun sigma black belt" what the metrics say should be forthcoming,
      unless this GE-inspired scientology is going the way of the CEO ...
    • by jadavis (473492) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:50PM (#15193960)
      It's sad that Sun is looking at so much financial trouble right now (assuming they actually are, and it might not actually be that bad). Solaris 10 is really quite amazing software, and their chip designs look very promising. I think it would take Linux/FreeBSD a long time to catch up to some of the things in Solaris 10 like ZFS and DTrace.

      I'm really pretty new to Solaris, however as soon as I started using it I could tell that they did real research on the kernel. I was very impressed after using Linux/FreeBSD for a long time. I can't think of any other companies actually doing that kind of research still. IBM does a lot of Linux development, but I sometimes get the feeling it's more to just make Linux into an AIX replacement (not that I know much about AIX).
    • If analists know so well how to run a company, how come they are still analists and not CEO of either a startup or a mature company? So, better take their words with a a grain of salt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:06PM (#15193497)
    My impression of McNealy from hearing him speak was that he was an amazing businessman (he told stories about his job before Sun... at a dog food company) but simply had no connection to the tech. He was a very bright fellow, and he understood technology, but the only extent to which he understood it was he understood how to make money off of it. He didn't understand why the technology was important-- or that is, the only thing he understood to be important about technology was that you could sell it. This sometimes lead to Sun doing things that were wonderful business moves, but more often, it lead to Sun doing things that simply didn't make sense from any perspective.

    Johnathan Schwartz definitely understands the technology. I cannot help but wonder if this will produce changes in the way Sun behaves. Sun is doing a lot of things right now that just don't make sense-- selling products that the market doesn't want; selling products that the market does want but putting rediculous restrictions on their functionality or use*; charging out the nose for things every other company gives away for free; giving away for free everything that it would make sense for Sun to charge out the nose for; simultaneously allowing the divergent interests of Sparc, Solaris and Java to hold each other back and get in each other's way. Since I think many of these things were byproducts of McNealy's strange mastery of economics but total ignorance of what the computer market in specific wants, it seems this could change with Schwartz at the tiller. But on the other hand Johnathan Schwartz has been in a position of power within Sun for some time now, and one would expect that if he were going to make an impact on Sun's behavior, he'd have done it already.

    How do you suppose Sun's behavior will change after this point?

    * One of many examples: I think a lot of people might be interested in SunRay if it wasn't that its use is still painfully tied to Solaris, which nobody wants to use so much as within 50 feet of a desktop machine.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Uhh, the SunRay server also runs on Linux (SuSE and RHAT): http://www.sun.com/software/sunray/ [sun.com]
      • And I personally set up and have used sunrays running on fedora with crossover office for endnote, office, and dreamweaver. With the SGD bit, now it appears that the windows barrier no longer exists. Of course now I just use vi, perl, and have a dual processor sparc box under my desk running solaris 10 with windows 2000 running on a sunpci card. The only reason I wouldnt want solaris closer to my desktop is the fan noise.
    • his job before Sun... at a dog food company

      I wonder if they ate their own dog food?

    • by An dochasac (591582) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:00PM (#15193753)

      * One of many examples: I think a lot of people might be interested in SunRay if it wasn't that its use is still painfully tied to Solaris, which nobody wants to use so much as within 50 feet of a desktop machine.

      Sun Ray isn't tied to Solaris. It has been available for linux since 2004. Customers have been running Windows via RDP client, tarantella or citrix for much longer than that. It just takes a while for new technologies to trickle down to joe user and replace cheap, but inefficient technologies. My only complaint is that there is no Sun Ray server version for OSX yet (AFAIK).
    • by kbahey (102895) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:24PM (#15193859) Homepage
      he was an amazing businessman (he told stories about his job before Sun... at a dog food company) but simply had no connection to the tech.

      Some of the lousiest managers and executives are techies. This is not to say that every techie is lousy manager/executive, but rather that it does not go automatically that a good engineer would be a good manager.

      Some of the best executives for tech companies were non techies. Look at who turned around IBM from another dinosaur to be to what it is today: a tech capable respected company that is kinder and gentler: Lou Gerstner came from non other than Nabisco...
    • My impression of McNealy from hearing him speak was that he was an amazing businessman (he told stories about his job before Sun... at a dog food company)
      The market wants Sun Microsystems to be a company that eats its own dogfood.

      Clearly, Scott McNealy is not and has never been that man... I hope.

    • Johnathan Schwartz has been in a position of power within Sun for some time now, and one would expect that if he were going to make an impact on Sun's behavior, he'd have done it already.

      He's had a massive impact on Sun. It hasn't been positive.

      -jcr
    • McNealy was Director of Operations at Onyx Systems in San Jose before Sun. Onyx was the first company to port Unix onto a machine that would sit on a desktop, Zilog Z8000 based, AT&T version 7, then AT&T System III. The machines could support 16 users on TTYs. You could put in upto 1 MegaByte of RAM, and 2 40 MegaByte hard disks (8"). All for less than $75,000. Those were the days. If he worked at a dog food company it may have been while he was in school. He tends to make up crap during his s
    • Solaris, which nobody wants to use so much as within 50 feet of a desktop machine.

      Actually, it's no different from any other Unix, for the most part. You can run Gnome or KDE for your desktop (or AfterStep or fvwm or any other X window manager), it supports OpenOffice, Firefox, MySQL/PostgreSQL/Oracle and other commonly-requested programs[1]. Plus, it's got the oft-cited ZFS and DTrace, which are pretty nice (if you need that sort of thing). And, it's free-as-in-beer, so you're not paying a "Sun tax". A
      • Hold that thought. Solaris + OSX.

        That micro kernel guru at apple quit recently. It might be that apple is lining up a new kernel :-) I was hoping for Linux but I'll take Solaris.

        Now back to reality, no way would Apple and Sun ever be able to co-own something. Apple would have to buy Sun or something.
  • It seems to me SUN's demise is similar to DEC/SGI where fewer and fewer people need big bulky machine -> enterprises are ok with cluster of'disposable' Intel boxes vs an ever-living-upgradable box. Is HPC an area they are good at? Have they explore any 'alternative' business?
    • It seems to me SUN's demise is similar to DEC/SGI where fewer and fewer people need big bulky machine -> enterprises are ok with cluster of'disposable' Intel boxes vs an ever-living-upgradable box. Is HPC an area they are good at? Have they explore any 'alternative' business?

      Not really, you still need big honking multi-processor machines to run big honking databases. A quad-proc dual-core opteron still isn't there yet in being able to match a fully loaded E25K for chewing on a big database. Not to mentio
      • Re:Need big change? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by georgewilliamherbert (211790) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:37PM (#15193909)
        Not really, you still need big honking multi-processor machines to run big honking databases. A quad-proc dual-core opteron still isn't there yet in being able to match a fully loaded E25K for chewing on a big database.
        More importantly, a rack full of quad-proc dual-core opterons still isn't there yet in being able to match a fully loaded E25K for chewing on a big database. Ten racks full of them, and a room full of them, either, unless you can partition the database efficiently.

        It is still far easier to do Oracle RAC wrong, and end up with a flat performance curve as you add nodes past 8 or so, than to do it right. It's possible to do RAC for some databases right and get reasonably, monotonically increasing performance out to many many nodes, but it's not common yet, or practical if you look at it statistically in terms of how many projects end up having to back it out and go back to large monolithic SMP servers.

        Some databases are partitionable and easily splittable among systems without clustering them. Those, it's already cost effecitve to move to large stacks of small servers. But those aren't the typical data models for large commercial databases.

        • It is still far easier to do Oracle RAC wrong, and end up with a flat performance curve as you add nodes past 8 or so, than to do it right. It's possible to do RAC for some databases right and get reasonably, monotonically increasing performance out to many many nodes, but it's not common yet, or practical if you look at it statistically in terms of how many projects end up having to back it out and go back to large monolithic SMP servers.

          I figure there is a reason companies with huge databases tend to be r
      • A quad-proc dual-core opteron still isn't there yet in being able to match a fully loaded E25K for chewing on a big database....don't think the SPARC architecture is up for matching the latest from Intel, AMD, or IBM.

        You almost seem to be contradicting yourself. Except... I know what you mean. What Sun should be doing is putting it's enterprise class systems (read: to include mainboard fabric design) experience to work at making Opteron solutions. With Sun's memory fabric experience and so forth, Opteron co
        • Re:Need big change? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ces (119879) *
          You almost seem to be contradicting yourself.

          The magic of something like an E25K has little to do with the speed of each processor and much to do with the overall system design. Things like the sheer number of processors, memory fabric, I/O fabric, hot-swap hardware, hardware level partitioning, etc.

          Even 4-way (8 if you assume dual-core) Opteron boxes are limited by a PC-centric architecture.

          What Sun should be doing is putting it's enterprise class systems (read: to include mainboard fabric design) experien
          • You'll be pleased to know that there are folks at Sun, currently, who feel the same. I've been shown internal documents on their next-generation AMD releases. It's looking promising for them. It would appear that Sun's future is likely to be a mix of Niagara and x86 solutions.

            C//
  • by vinn (4370) on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:27PM (#15193587) Homepage Journal

    I offer this topic so all threads on it can be put below:

    • What does Sun need to do to succeed?

    From what I've seen in my past 12 years in IT, Sun has been about 80% on the money. They've succeeded in some wonderful areas and are one of the few companies that can still churn out their CPU architectures despite the best efforts of Motorola, Intel, and AMD to put them out of business. They've developed Java which has been a success as well as OS components like NFS.

    Despite all that, the company has really screwed up. I don't think they did a good job advocating Java or buying the mindshare of the development community. Most sys admins would still rather use Linux and all the cool toys it comes with compared to Solaris. Sun is just cool enough that you want to use it, but you'd never recommend it to your friends.

    I'll throw out the first salvo: the best thing for Sun at this point would be for Schwartz to step down at the same time. McNealy was a likable guy and he cast Sun in a good light (no pun intended.) Schwartz seems to backpeddle and tends to alienate communities that genuinely want to help the company succeed.

    • by Decaff (42676) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:20PM (#15193838)
      Despite all that, the company has really screwed up. I don't think they did a good job advocating Java or buying the mindshare of the development community.

      Eh? Have you any idea of the size of the Java development community?
      • Do you know why people are writing AJAX applications? It's because Sun failed the promise of java. Do you know why there are so few java gui apps? Because Sun failed java. Do you know why Ruby on Rails exist? Because Sun failed Java.

        Java was all full of promise. Cross platform, run from the browser, free yourself from the drudgery of writing stateless apps using http and and that abortion known as javascript, no more learning 15 different gui toolkits, etc.

        Sun failed misreably in fulfilling the promise of j
        • Do you know why people are writing AJAX applications? It's because Sun failed the promise of java.

          No, because Microsoft sabotaged having a quality JVM bundled on the client.

          Do you know why there are so few java gui apps? Because Sun failed java.

          There aren't few Java GUI apps. This is a common myth. Swing is used by a very large number of developers for internal client-side GUI apps within organisations. One of the most rapidly growing areas of Java is Rich Client development using the built-in resources
    • Most sys admins would still rather use Linux and all the cool toys it comes with compared to Solaris.

      Java started out as a loss leader for solaris, which is why I can compile python up on NetBSD, but not java.

      Now that their OS business is a lost cause sun should release the java sources under a license which lets people port it to different platforms. The user base will increase and they may be able to compete with C#

      • Now that their OS business is a lost cause sun should release the java sources under a license which lets people port it to different platforms. The user base will increase and they may be able to compete with C#

        The user base is already huge, and it is competing against C# extremely well right now.
      • Actually Java is one of Suns biggest successes, if it wasnt for java they probably would have gone the way of SGI. Face it Java is one of the most successful languages currently in existence and has replaced Cobol and C++ in the Enterprise application area. If you are just a guy who runs a few BSD boxen at home or small companies you never get the picture on how much impact java has had in the enterprise area.
    • Sun's interest in free software use should be as clear as day. Sun will be pushed out with M$ in control of the corporate desktop. M$ will continue their nauseating push into services that Sun is in a better hardware and software position to provide. Free software makeres will happily take advantage of hardware Sun makes.

    • What does Sun need to do to succeed?

      If their new line of processors is successful, that will go a long way. From what I understand, Solaris is gaining interest very quickly, and with it, Sun mindshare.

      If they have a leading chip for common server loads, and a leading OS for common server tasks, the support contracts and hardware sales are bound to roll in.

    • Schwartz seems to backpeddle and tends to alienate communities that genuinely want to help the company succeed.


      Hey Brian, substantiate this.
  • by EMB Numbers (934125) on Monday April 24, 2006 @07:43PM (#15193666)
    Lighthouse Design http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighthouse_Design [wikipedia.org]

    Lighthouse produced awesome NeXTstep/Openstep applications. Recall that Openstep was an open standard cross platform framework provided by NeXT (Steve Jobs) and Sun (Scott McNealy). Little things like the first web browser and content editor, the dev tools for the game Doom, and Lotus Improve originated in NeXTstep. Scott McNealy once famously said Sun puts all of its wood behind one arrow, and Openstep is that arrow. Um, then Java came along and Sun forgot about Openstep.

    Sun acquired Lighthouse Design in ~1996. Lighthouse produced Diagram which was imitated in the form of Visio. Lighthouse was rumored to be producing a project management application (think MS Project). Sun initially said they would release the Lighthouse suite of NeXTstep/Openstep applications as Java applications for enterprise users. Sadly, Sun was never released them. Maybe there was no market or Sun wasn't able to get them to work as Java apps.

    Openstep went on to become Apple's Cocoa.
    Lighthouse's applications dies inside Sun.
    Jonathan Schwartz became Sun CEO.

  • Maybe this will stop Sun's habit of lying. Rememer the Ultra 20 (AMD) for 30 per month that was really 450.00 for the first year then 360 per year for the next two years because their backend system 'could not handle monthly payments'?
  • Scott did his best. He brought Sun back from nothing in the 90's with the Ultrasparc, gave the world Java, and was a true industry visionary. Remember, he coined the phrase, "The network is the computer." It is sad that he couldn't find a successful business model for Sun, but he will be missed.
  • Disappointed... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by loony (37622) on Monday April 24, 2006 @09:51PM (#15194167)
    Am I the only one disappointed in Jonathan Schwartz? I met him a few times and while he seemed very knowledgeable and charismatic, he lacked quite a bit in mental flexibility. I doubt it was my comments on the panels I was on, but he pretty much laughed in my face when I made certain comments - and now, two years later the software at sun is treated pretty much in exactly the way I talked about. Now, its Sun's money and whatever - but that (and a few similar incidents with him) left a bad taste in my mouth. He does a good job at hiding it, but he's incredibly arrogant and suffers under the not-invented-here issue that already brought down many companies of substantial size - think Digital.

    Sorry to say that - but Sun needs someone who is more open and listens better than Schwartz. He's a good leader, but he certainly lacks in vision and new, revolutionary ideas.

    Peter.
    • ok, I'll bite, what were the comments? all us self-important wisecrackers, trolls, wannabes and whackos of slashdot will adjudicate your case and decide if either schwartz or you be dah man.
  • by swpod (963634)
    I suspect that Schwartz was the guy who started the Silicon Valley speech idiom of beginning each answer to a technical question with the word "So". For example:

    "Hey Johnathan, what is Java?"

    "So, Java is this universal programming language..."

    Not sure why this is important to me, but I've spent a lot of time in San Jose recently and I've noticed that everyone is talking that way now. To me it comes across as a teensy bit impatient and condescending, if you consider the tone of voice typically used.
  • by Ingolfke (515826) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:53PM (#15194356) Journal
    save the date, August 26th 2006, for he McNeally-Fiorina wedding.
  • by rmathew (3745) <rmathew@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @05:38AM (#15195304) Homepage
    The Economist had a damning article on Scott McNealy [economist.com] just a couple of weeks ago.
  • by akad0nric0 (398141) on Tuesday April 25, 2006 @11:22AM (#15196995)
    A list of McNealy zingers [com.com]. I have to say, I'm gonna miss reading absurd quotes from this guy.

Is a person who blows up banks an econoclast?

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