Saturday Feb 17, 2007

McNealy on OpenSolaris and IBM

Here is a quote from Scott McNealy on IBM, OpenSolaris, and Power -- "We would love to work with IBM. We're going to do the slow and steady community development of Solaris on Power." Cool. The community is already on it: Community, Project, List, Blastwave, Code.

Wednesday Apr 26, 2006

Some More Scott and Jonathan Links

Seems like another busy media day for Scott and Jonathan. Reading all this coverage over the last two days has been interesting. I have a feeling there will be a lot more as the dust settles, don't you?

Sun users offer advice to new CEO Schwartz
Neal Tisdale, praised Schwartz's selection. "I think it's a great change," said Tisdale, vice president of software development at the Atlanta-based subsidiary of Siemens Power Generation.

Sun: Same song, second verse?
Bill Zeitler, IBM's systems/technology group: "I think the move to OpenSolaris has been a good one. The move to open up their portfolio to Opteron and away from Sparc and moderate their investments there is a smart thing strategically." That's IBM talking up OpenSolaris there.

Sun's chiefs on the hot seat
"If you're an engineer or you're a technologist, you want to come to a place that appreciates technology and engineering. This is one of the places that you go do it." -- Schwartz

One rises, one sets / New generation, but same vision, for Sun CEO
Crawford Del Prete of IDC: "I think Jonathan has shown that he understands the multiple aspects of Sun's extremely complex business and he has shown that he can be engaging with customers."

New Sun CEO Is Unconventional, Controversial
"When directors at Hewlett-Packard Co. saw a need for a new chief executive officer, they recruited Mark Hurd, a button-down operations specialist from NCR Corp. who is now overhauling H-P's sales strategy. Rival Sun Microsystems Inc., by contrast, promoted a brainy insider who promises to stay the computer maker's maverick course."

Analysts Seek Turnaround Strategy From Sun
"It was under Schwartz that Sun Solaris, considered by some to be the gold standard of operating systems, became a free download." And it became open source, too. Let's not forget that part.

When I First Met Scott...
Jonathan talks about Scott.

McNealy--an engineer's witty patron
"McNealy has been the down-to-earth face of the Valley's engineers -- more comfortable in jeans and sneakers and more apt to talk about golf and ice hockey than fabulous vacations and yachts."

Langberg: McNealy was pushed out because he had lost credibility
"I hope McNealy continues to serve as the company's public face. He's always been a nightmare for the PR department, telling reporters exactly what he thinks and producing great quotes." Cute. But I'm not sure the article really substantiates the headline.

Why a new CEO is right, Wall St. is wrong and America needs more jails
Scott: "It allows me to go do what I want to do, which is working with the US government, Japan and our top 20 accounts."

McNealy's greatest hits (wisecracks)
Great little video.

Analysis: All eyes on Schwartz to turn Sun around
“Sun still has the influence -- don’t count them out yet." -- Joe Wilcox, JupiterResearch

Goodbye, Mr. McNealy
"McNealy wasn't just an industry giant, he changed the IT world forever ... Let us never forget, that without Scott McNealy we would have neither the Internet nor the open source that powers so much of it. -- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

McNealy--apres moi, you'll be bored silly
"Unlike, oh, 99.9 percent of the white-bread phonies who present themselves as corporate leaders, McNealy was the real deal when it came to leadership." -- Charles Cooper

Sun's New Boss: The Same as the Old Boss?
"This is not about how we take a whack to headcount," Schwartz said. "The goal is to make sure we focus on top-line growth and increasing the value of our shares."

Sun Microsystems' Big Changes
"The company had its woes, but Sun has been a fountain of original and innovative thinking over the years." -- Dan Gillmor

Don't Blame Scott
An obnoxious piece.

Tags: sun jonathan-schwartz scott-mcnealy

Friday Jun 17, 2005

Scott on OpenSolaris

Check out some audio (it's just a minute or two) of Scott talking OpenSolaris with Dan Gillmor -- Scott McNealy on Open-Sourcing Solaris. Getting back to our roots. Good stuff.

Thursday Jun 09, 2005

Two Quotes Today

Two interesting quotes from Scott today -- one funny and one probably taken a bit out of context. Both appear in this article -- Open source "is free like a puppy is free" says Sun boss in ZDNet UK. Here's the first one:

Commenting on Sun's $4.1bn (£2.4bn) acquisition of tape-specialist StorageTek last week, McNealy hit back at analysts who claimed that the move wasn't decisive enough to improve the company's flat performance.

"People say, "Tape is kind of boring". Well, I say go in and tell your customer that you have lost their back-up tapes and you'll see excitement pretty quickly," he said.

Ok, just a funny quote but with a serious message. Seems like Scott. I can her him saying it. Seems clear, too. But further down in the article comes another quote that I bet was taken out of context. Here's that one:

Next on the hit list was open source, with McNealy attacking the widely held view that the Linux operating system is cheap compared with Sun's own Solaris OS or Microsoft's Windows, or even free. "Open source is free like a puppy is free," he quipped, hinting at long-term costs and hassles, and occasional clean-up jobs. This is despite the fact that Sun recently began releasing Solaris under an open source licence.

I seriously doubt that open source is on McNealy's so-called "hit list." Scott is spending millions on , and his engineering teams are out there building the OpenSolaris community and have been doing so for some time now. So why would open source be on his so-called hit list? Makes no sense. Also, the OpenSolaris community will be an open source community, which is stated directly in the last sentence of the paragraph. If open source were on Scott's so-called hit list, I doubt I'd have a job, too. So, I don't get the "attack" characterization up front before McNealy's quote, nor do I get the last sentence in the paragraph written to emphasize a point that wasn't really supported in the first place. Also, if you take out the "despite" in there the sentence takes on an entirely different tone. Of course, taking out "hit list" and "attacking" and "scathing" further alters the story, too, don't you think?

So, what's wrong with McNealy's actual quote? He's simply pointing out that from his perspective as CEO open source is not free. He's right. It takes a strong commitment and significant engineering resources to build and run an open source development project to provide all that "free" code. Most customers who then consume that free code do so through some vendor providing services to support or implement systems based on the code. Isn't that what Red Hat does? And IBM? And Novell? Sun? Or, if customers have the skills on staff, they do the work themselves. But it all costs something, doesn't it? Nothing is free in that equation except the access to the source code, which helps enable a community of developers who have the specialized skills to work on the code.

I don't find anything wrong with McNealy's 9 word quote. However, I do question the 64 words of commentary characterizing the quote. Don't you?

UPDATE: 6/9/05: I see that Cnet reprinted the ZDNet story but under the headline, "McNealy touts 'excitement' of backup tape." Pretty much the same story with the same writer but this version has some small changes. For instance, this one says, "Also on the quip list ... " instead of "Next on the hit list ... " Why the edit? There were a couple more edits as well. Then the story crops up yet again on Silicon.com under yet a third headline, though this one is just ridiculous -- Sun boss scorches rivals and open source. Scorches? Well, I guess the headline did its job -- I read the story. It's great media PR, no question. But after I read the story and found no substantiation for the headline so I lost respect for Silicon.com. Simple.

Sunday Oct 17, 2004

Scott in SJMN

Scott's out there talking again. Love it. Pretty interesting Q&A here in the San Jose Mercury News. It's a quick read. Give it a look. I clipped some of the more entertaining exchanges below. I sometimes wonder, though. Don't reporters get tied of asking the same old questions? Especially to McNealy. Oh, well. The press is coming around. I think the most important bit from this Q&A is Scott's reference to Sun's getting leading with Opteron.

On bring proprietary ...

Q: There is a perception that Sun is trying to lock in customers with proprietary technology.

A: For 22 years, I've said name a technical specification at Sun that is not open, published or adopted by some or all of the computer industry. You can't. To call Sun proprietary is as big a lie as you could put in your newspaper. If I were to say IBM is bankrupt and you were to publish that, that would be the same as saying Sun is proprietary.

On killing SPARC ...

Q: What if your advisers or investors say drop Sparc and adopt Intel?

A: Who said that? You're asking overly general questions.

Q: Why don't you drop Sparc?

A It's one of the most successful microprocessor architectures in the history of the world. It has an incredible installed base. We grew volumes 46 percent in the June quarter. Blew everybody else away. It is the No. 1 64-bit architecture. It scales from one processor task to hundreds simultaneously. It is quite embedded in the telecommunications services market place. It is open and multi-vendor and quite profitable for us. Other than that I can't think of a reason. Why as a car company wouldn't we want to do our own engines? People say you're doing too much. Why are you doing engines?

On lagging Linux server sales ...

Q: Sun's Linux server sales still seem small. If anyone can build and sell a computer server with the open-source operating system, why isn't your share of Linux bigger?

A: Because we got in at the end of the train. We tried to get others to adopt Solaris and we did 360's in the mud. Until we did our Intel Xeon strategy a couple of years ago, we were late on the Xeon parade. We are first on the AMD Opteron parade.

Thursday Oct 07, 2004

Scott in The Reg

Fascinating article by Ashlee Vance in The Register today about Scott, Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, and Linux. That's quite a combination there, eh? Some nice stuff in this piece that Ashlee says will make the "conspiracy theorists drool." It's a good read.

But I particularly like the last two paragraphs:

There simply isn't a conspiracy between Sun, Microsoft and SCO to kill Linux. There is a business plan to thwart Red Hat. This should not shock anyone. It should be expected.

Red Hat has warm, fuzzy feelings behind it, but it is not the open source community as a whole. It's a company every bit as aggressive as the next. Sun and Microsoft are trying to make this point painfully clear. They're not in love with each other as Red Hat's Michael Tiemann has suggested. They simply have a common enemy.

Oh, and in this article, Scott refers to OpenSolaris again:

McNealy continued to say the only thing Red Hat has that Sun doesn't is the open source label on its operating system, which Sun plans to change in the coming months. He also reiterated points about Sun long giving its Solaris code to customers and about Sun's position behind Berkeley as the second leading contributor of open source code on the planet.

Saturday Oct 02, 2004

Scott on OpenSolaris, Linux, Red Hat

Scott was out and about yesterday. It's hard to miss him, actually. Here are a few bits from Hiawatha Bray's Boston Globe article:

''We love Linux," said McNealy at yesterday's meeting of the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council in Newton. ''We just don't love Red Hat."

Even though Linux itself is free, Red Hat charges high prices for customer service and support. ''You can run Solaris for 20 to 30 percent of the cost of 'free,' " McNealy said.


McNealy stressed that Linux wasn't the enemy. He noted that Sun is one of the leading contributors of free software to open-source projects, that Sun sells computers equipped with Linux, and that the company plans to release the next version of Solaris as an open-source product. ''Open source is not a threat," he said, just Red Hat. ''They're a competitor," McNealy said, ''and we're going to blow them out of the water if we can."

Nice to hear the boss talking about OpenSolaris. I wonder if the millions and millions of lines of code in OpenSolaris will push us over the top as the new number one contributor to open source? I bet it does ... I'll have to start counting ....

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