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HP Baited With Cutouts of Founders 206

Posted by Zonk
from the easily-riled dept.
eastbayted writes "According to InfoWorld.com, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz boasts in his public blog that his company has bought a life-size cardboard cut of the HP rival's founders, William Hewlett and David Packard, for $6,000. Sun staffers then went on to bedeck and photograph the dual portrait in pro-Sun paraphernalia. As a parting shot at HP, Schwartz notes in his post how popular a download Solaris is for HP server owners. Taking the bait, HP VP of Marketing Eric Kintz responds in his own blog that Sun's actions were 'a nice stunt' and that 'I never met Bill or Dave, but I bet neither of them would have approved paying thousands for representations of themselves.' He also cites an IDC report about how HP-UX dominates the Unix market over IBM and Sun." Update: 08/28 04:43 GMT by Z : Fixed confusing headline.
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HP Baited With Cutouts of Founders

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  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:26PM (#15992022)
    sort of tacky to me.
  • Grow up. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jethro (14165) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:27PM (#15992027) Homepage
    Well I'm glad to know we're all still being immature and childish.

    It's almost as if a News for Nerds website had derogatory icons for Microsoft and Bill Gates, or something.

    Oh, wait.

    (Seriously, Slahsdot, can we grow up a bit and just have non-insulting icons for these guys? It was funny in 1998, but come ON).
  • by Rotten168 (104565) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:28PM (#15992029) Homepage
    Wouldn't it be funny if Steve Jobs painted a Groucho Marx face on Pascal and Von Neumann's cardboard cutout likenesses? Oh wait, no it wouldn't. Sun just shows how utterly childish they are with this stunt.

    For those who say "have a sense of humor" I will say "it's not even funny, really".
  • Fuck Sun and HP. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:36PM (#15992054)
    Fuck both Sun and HP. For those of us who have real systems to worry about, this sort of bullshit between marketeers and CEOs makes us cringe. Sun could have put that $6000 to good use. That would have been enough to pay an intern for the summer, perhaps one who could have gone through and fixed some of the fairly simple OpenSolaris bugs that are still open, even months after being reported.

    Then again, these days it's rare to need the kind of hardware Sun or HP puts out. Several quality Opteron boxes from IBM running FreeBSD or Linux can provide the same level of service and the same reliability as a large Sun or HP system, and often at a far lower cost.

  • Wrong targets (Score:5, Insightful)

    by violet16 (700870) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:36PM (#15992056)
    Nobody would blink if Sun took a cheap shot at HP. But making fun of two recently deceased Silicon Valley icons, both of whom are still deeply respected by many in the industry, is pretty poor form.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:41PM (#15992072)
    People without senses of humor always say that about pretty much everything. That's sort of the definition of not having a sense of humor... You know, not thinking anything's funny.

    As for showing how utterly childish they are... Well oh darn. Sun is childish. I'm sure that'll really bite them in the ass when... Oh wait, no one cares.

    At least they're enjoying themselves, unlike some people.
  • by Harmonious Botch (921977) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:42PM (#15992079) Homepage Journal
    These guys have lost their focus. I'm a business owner myself ( a bit smaller than Sun and HP, though ) and I would never encourage my employees to act or think like this. Beating your competition is the side effect that you derive from pleasing customers. It is not the goal.
  • Stupid CEO Tricks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Sunday August 27, 2006 @11:56PM (#15992130) Homepage Journal

    Schwartz is in the middle of trying to pull Sun out of a very deep hole. The company's stock is still trading at under $5/share. It faces tremendous competition from above and below, and it has been shedding employees like a duck sheds water. There are times when publicity stunts like this are a good idea. For example, when you're the young upstart and you want to poke fun at the established titans of industry.

    Spending thousands of dollars to buy a cutout of highly respected founders of Silicon Valley, then to bedeck them in garish Sun paraphanalia is juvenile, tacky, and demonstrative of an utterly deranged public relations department. Sun *is* an established titan of industry, one that has been hurting for years. Attempts to look like a saucy underdog just make the company look pathetic.

    Make kick-ass products. Give customers what they want, and then some. Ready your history. Examine how IBM, Apple, and yes, HP recovered from their missteps. Earn respect. Don't endanger it by resorting to head-scratching 9th grade pep rally moves like this.

  • What is going on (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) on Monday August 28, 2006 @12:06AM (#15992158)
    If I wasn't so confused by the summary I'd probably think this was a really pathetic stunt by Sun. I'd also probably think it was really weird and sad that executives are fighting on their blogs.
  • by AJWM (19027) on Monday August 28, 2006 @12:13AM (#15992178) Homepage
    Dell is soooooo the market leader in technology innovation.

    +1 Funny
  • by takeaslash (976090) on Monday August 28, 2006 @12:20AM (#15992202)
    n 2004, the management at Sun Microsystems terminated any more development on high-end processors and high-end servers. According to an article by The Register, Sun now sells re-branded Fujitsu servers as Sun's high-end servers. Fujitsu is an OEM for Sun. Sun engineers still work on low-end multi-core processors, but Fujitsu designs and builds all of Sun's high-end processors. The processors that battle IBM's Power5 are Fujitsu SPARC64's. The hardware division of Sun is now a shell of its former self. Sun management is seeking to close its Sunnyvale campus, which is the location of all of Sun's (former) processor development. You only have half the story. The highend Ultra V was killed off so that Sun could focus on their Rock CPU for the highend. They have also extended their partnership with Fujitsu to develop the APL line, and to rebadge each others products. The T1, Ultra IV+ processors with their current Opeteron line show that the hardware division of going along very well.
  • by calidoscope (312571) on Monday August 28, 2006 @12:22AM (#15992212)
    In 2004, the management at Sun Microsystems terminated any more development on high-end processors and high-end servers. According to an article by The Register, Sun now sells re-branded Fujitsu servers as Sun's high-end servers. Fujitsu is an OEM for Sun.


    Devlopment on the UltraSPARC V was terminated - Sun is still working on the "Rock" prcessor - sort of a Niagara designed for large multiprocessor machines. Sun realized several years ago that processors were hitting a wall on single thread performance (compare performance gains between 1996 to 2001 vs 2001 to 2006) and emphasized multicore designs. Sun has also done some nice work with the Opteron - that combined with the Niagara are two reasons why Sun's market share has been increasing recently.

  • I agree that this was a pretty stupid stunt, but I would expect that you would choose the best server, no matter what. And I'm sure Sun handles their support in a more "professional" manner. Frankly, I would compare this stunt to Steve Ballmer shouting "Developers" - it's that stupid.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 28, 2006 @12:43AM (#15992262)
    We're not even talking about "art" here, which would at least provide a spurious justification for such gross extravagance.

    It's bad enough seeing scumbag trustfund kiddies flaunting their inherited wealth by doing nothing but ski or drive their Lamborghinis around all day, but paying $6,000 for a scrap of cardboard, just to play a prank?

    The bloody revolution can't happen soon enough.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday August 28, 2006 @12:54AM (#15992286)
    I can't believe how many slashdot readers appear to have a stick up the rear over this. Personally I find it amusing and not really offensive at all. You can tell HP which lost any sense of fun a few years ago has no real idea how to react other than very uncomfortable press releases.
  • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Monday August 28, 2006 @01:57AM (#15992399) Journal
    Ayn Rand only said that because she was a kooky chick with her own cult. Many of the most creative people in history were motivated by the desire to beat others.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Monday August 28, 2006 @01:59AM (#15992406) Homepage Journal
    Spending thousands of dollars to buy a cutout of highly respected founders of Silicon Valley, then to bedeck them in garish Sun paraphanalia is juvenile, tacky ...
    Which pretty much describes everything Schwartz does.
    ...and demonstrative of an utterly deranged public relations department.

    What makes you think Schwartz even talked to his PR people? I'm sure if he had, they would have tried to talk him out of it.

    Here's an irony: recently, Schwartz sent an email to all employees, boasting that Sun doesn't "waste money" on art with which to decorate its corridors. Instead, it puts up these tacky posters where Sun employees talk about how great a place the company is to work. Just to thing to convince employees that the company isn't circling the drain!

    I give Scwartz a year, tops.

  • by rsidd (6328) on Monday August 28, 2006 @02:05AM (#15992413)

    You clearly and unambiguously referred to Hewlett and Packard as Sun's founders. The headline was not "confusing", it was WRONG.

    And the summary is still WRONG. It says "a life-size cardboard cut of the HP rival's founders," and these people weren't founders of any HP rival (as far as I know), they were the founders of HP, which stands for (surprise) Hewlett-Packard.

    Learn to, first, recognise your mistakes, second, admit them.

  • by Anpheus (908711) on Monday August 28, 2006 @02:45AM (#15992468)
    But the blood gets everywhere then and it's terribly hard to clean out of my whites, the bleach never really gets all of it...

    Maybe we could have a not-so-bloody revolution? Just this once? You know, we can try it out, see if we like it. I mean, if we don't like it, we could always go for number two, right?
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 28, 2006 @04:43AM (#15992651) Journal
    In 2004, the management at Sun Microsystems terminated any more development on high-end processors and high-end servers.

    You are joking aren't you? Sun seem to be doing the only interesting CPU development at the moment. The T1 is an 8 core, 64-way SMT design specifically optimised for datacenter workloads. Its successor is going to have better floating point performance and even more parallelism. It gets the best performance per watt of any general purpose CPU for most web and database server workloads. The Rock, due out in 2008, aims for the the high-end market, and looks very promising.

    I suppose the fact that they are not developing high-end servers anymore must be the reason why their market share in the server arena has increased for five quarters in a row.

    The processors that battle IBM's Power5 are Fujitsu SPARC64's

    The POWER5 (and, to a lesser degree, Itanium) are living in the very high-end HPC arena. This market keeps getting smaller. The T1 is in the web server and high-density datacenter market. This is an enormous growth area. At the moment, people buying large numbers of servers care about two things:

    1. Heat.
    2. Power usage.
    The POWER5 is one of the worst offenders in this; it gets great performance (although not necessarily on the kind of workloads buyers are looking for), but it generates a huge amount of heat. Even IBM don't use it in their highest performance systems (Blue Gene and friends); they use PowerPC 405-series chips, which are much less powerful (they are mostly sold for use in mobile 'phones), but have a better performance / watt, and so they can be packed a lot more densely.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 28, 2006 @04:58AM (#15992671) Journal
    Sadly, both companies have lost that edge, and now produce mostly bland generic products, little different to any of the mass-market offerings.

    I've seen a lot of comments like that in this comment, and I don't understand where they come from. Sun is still focussing in build quality, and making products that are a joy to use. The have one highly innovative CPU design in production, and two in development. They produce Opteron systems for the mass market, SPARC systems for HPC and T1 for the datacenter. Their UNIX variant is still under active development, and things like DTrace and ZFS are unparalleled.

    HP, in contrast, had two of the best CPU designs on the market (PA-RISC and Alpha), and they let both die. They had two UNIXes, and they let both of them stagnate (although they are starting to undo this). They had an even more impressive OS in the form of OpenVMS, which ran on VAX and Alpha; they ported it to Itanium. If they'd ported it to x86 instead, then they could have sold huge numbers of systems. As it is, they've sold both of the Itanium machines sold.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 28, 2006 @05:06AM (#15992688) Journal
    Dell are making sales? [theregister.co.uk] Last quarter, Sun server sales increased, while Dell, IBM and HP's all dropped.
  • by sethstorm (512897) * on Monday August 28, 2006 @08:08AM (#15993010) Homepage
    It's bad enough seeing scumbag trustfund kiddies flaunting their inherited wealth by doing nothing but ski or drive their Lamborghinis around all day, but paying $6,000 for a scrap of cardboard, just to play a prank?

    Well, that sounds like you just described the average Stanfordite.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday August 28, 2006 @11:55AM (#15994205)
    It got us to the moon, after all.

    -Eric

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