Holistic Role

I'm in Portland, Oregon this weekend for an interesting meeting, but I'll not be able to stay on for OSCON this year because a change of my role at Sun necessitates attending a meeting in California that's a direct conflict with OSCON. It's not an especially closely-kept secret but I've now moved from Sun's software group and taken the Chief Open Source Officer role over to a newly-formed team reporting more directly to the CEO and working on Sun's relationships with communities globally.

The new team comprises some of Sun's best experts in open standards, open IPR and open source. It's called the Sun Open Technologies Practice, and in particular manages the Sun standards and open source websites. It allows us to take a more holistic approach to Sun's engagement in open standards and open source, especially in the area of influencing open standards bodies to have IPR policies that allow - or even encourage - open source implementation.

I'll let the new members of my team use their own channels to say they have joined, but suffice to say I'm excited by the challenging new opportunities this presents around the world.


As an IP practitioner, I work with many computer companies in Taiwan and China, as well as governmental officials there. I have always sensed that to essentially all the big bosses in at least that part of the world, Open Source has a very negative, actually dreadful, connotation. Open Technology, OTOH, rings a much better tone (especially the kind of tone that can be associated with a cash register).

Although probably not much is expected to change, perception can make the difference between day and night in term of acceptance by Sun's current and potential customers. Very good move on the part of Sun IMO.

Posted by W. Wayne Liauh on July 20, 2008 at 07:20 AM PDT #

I read your posts every day as a way to keep current with what is happening with Java, Sun and open-source in general.

I like the one-liners and pointers to what you assess relevant in computing

I hope in your new post you'll continue your evangelist campaign addressing the still evolving path of open-source and associated culture in industry, corporate mind-set and the significant change at Sun evident to most of us outside observers.

I do follow the change at Sun; it must be difficult to not only define the strategy, sell it, but it must be implemented, a tall order; reporting directly to JS will allow you to be that much effective; congratulations and good luck in your new capacity.

francisco zarama; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Posted by J.F. Zarama on July 20, 2008 at 08:16 AM PDT #

Congratulations on the new post. I much appreciate reading your material and hope it continues!

Posted by Pete on July 20, 2008 at 01:49 PM PDT #

Why put a positive spin in intellectual monopolies at all? Is it because Sun /already/ has a portfolio, i.e. fences against competition?

Posted by Roy Schestowitz on July 20, 2008 at 02:25 PM PDT #

Hi Roy. That's just the way the world outside the FOSS communities speaks. My intent is to work from this new position to change that world, but one doesn't usually win by alienating them on day one :-)

Everyone else: Thanks for the warm wishes.

Posted by Simon Phipps on July 21, 2008 at 05:31 AM PDT #

Congratulations on the new role Simon. Hope to see you soon.

Posted by Stephen McGibbon on July 21, 2008 at 07:46 PM PDT #

Hi Simon,

A quick question with regards to the changes.
Is the new team designed to focus on helping Sun internally, or will it also allow you greater freedom to look at and offer help/guidance to open source projects outside of the Sun profolio?
I wish the new team well by the way and look forward to reading more about the changes.

Matthew Tomlinson

Posted by Matthew Tomlinson on July 21, 2008 at 10:04 PM PDT #

Many congratulations Simon. I'm delighted to hear about your new role: it's perfect for you, great news for Sun and, let's hope, the industry as a whole. I look forward to the next time I get to see you speak!


Posted by Patrick on July 22, 2008 at 05:55 AM PDT #

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