McNealy Takes Jabs at Microsoft

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-08-13 Print this article Print

In his keynote address at LinuxWorld on Tuesday, Sun CEO Scott McNealy said the Redmond company's booth at the show was hard to find and always closed.

SAN FRANCISCO—Sun Microsystems Inc. has been very responsible and contributed significantly to the open-source community, said Scott McNealy, Suns chairman, president and CEO, in his keynote presentation here at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo on Tuesday. In his address titled "The Role of Linux in a Capitalist Society," McNealy appearing before several hundred delegates defended his companys commitment to open source, citing a host of Sun deliverables and sponsorships. "We delivered Java for Linux, J2ME, the Sun ONE Web Server, Directory Server, Studio, Grid Engine, Sun ONE ASP and StarOffice," he said.
He also listed a range of sponsorship examples, including, JXTA, NetBeans, Grid Engine and NFSv4, pointing out that developers in the community are more aware of Suns open-source commitments than is the media.
McNealy also once again stressed Suns commitment to making its Linux offering compatible with the Linux Standards Base (LSB). "We are not interested in creating a proprietary Sun Linux offering. We need better stewardship and compliance in the community so we dont get the fracturing and other issues that arose with Unix," he said. In what was often a light-hearted address, McNealy quipped that you know you are a member of the open-source community when you view penguins, monkeys, lizards and Gnomes as sacred and endorse capital punishment for spammers. While acknowledging that the server business was "kind of tough right now," McNealy said Linux has grown at 30 percent year-on-year on the client side. That was "a wonderful dent to make in the convicted monopolist," he said, referring to Microsoft Corp.s antitrust woes. Speaking to the open-source community, McNealy said, "You are doing things that the Attorneys General werent able to accomplish, so keep up the good work. At Sun were also going to continue supporting desktop initiatives." Sun has also created its own open-source community within its IT shop, and Linux will be absolutely key to satellite offices and allowing staff to work remotely. "Were committed, so stay tuned," he said. Taking another swipe at Microsoft, McNealy said the Redmond companys booth at the LinuxWorld show was hard to find and always closed. "I am very pleased by the pricing and licensing strategies the open-source community is committed to. This provides a counter to the annual tax users have to cough up to Microsoft," he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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