McNealy on Microsoft: Get the chainsaw out

 
 
By Rob O'Regan  |  Posted 1999-11-17
 
 
 

LAS VEGAS -- Break up Microsoft? Not a problem for Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Scott McNealy.

After an hours worth of fun at Microsoft Corp.s expense during his Comdex keynote here Wednesday, McNealy turned serious at a press briefing when asked about how Microsoft should be punished if it loses its antitrust suit.

"There are four basic things Microsoft must be precluded from doing," McNealy said. First, the company must provide uniform pricing for its Windows licenses. Second, it must not be allowed to forge exclusive agreements with OEMs. Third, it must open up its APIs.

Finally, he said, "They must be precluded from leveraging their monopoly money into new areas." He cited Microsofts investments in AT&T Corp. and other telecommunications companies as examples of how the Redmond, Wash., company has used its cash reserves to expand the reach of Windows CE.

If Microsoft would agree to those conditions, a breakup would not be necessary, McNealy said. However, referring to the software giant as "incorrigible and unrepentant," he said it was unlikely Microsofts executives would voluntarily accept such measures.

"If they dont agree with that, then get the chainsaw out," McNealy said. "If I were a betting person, Id say Microsoft will be broken up, because they just dont get it."

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