Sunny Scott Seems Cloudy About Linux

Spencer wondered why sun microsystems ceo scott mcNealy was so snippy at the company's much-trumpeted clustering software launch in Santa Clara, Calif., last week.

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Spencer wondered why sun microsystems ceo scott mcNealy was so snippy at the companys much-trumpeted clustering software launch in Santa Clara, Calif., last week. After the official presentation, McNealy entered the media and analyst Q&A session unshaven, clad in his signature blue jeans and sports coat. n When asked by a reporter why Suns new clustering software was restricted to Solaris and not available on Linux, McNealys aggravation seemed to peak. "You people just dont get it, do you? All Linux applications run on Solaris, which is our implementation of Linux. Now ask the question again," said the usually jovial Java giant. "Funny," thought His Hirsuteness, "everyone else seems to think Unix and Linux are separate platforms."

The gossipy Grimalkin has heard at the whisper level a rumor that Microsoft may be floating to its partners, to gauge their reactions—the idea of setting up a separate professional services division of 10,000 engineers. If this is actually the case, the Furball cant imagine that reactions would be favorable. "Whod want to hear that Redmond might actually be intending to directly compete with them?" pondered the Puss.

Collaborative filtering pioneer Net Perceptions is starting to look like a prime acquisition target. The Web personalization software vendors stock is trading at just over $2, its 52-week low, down from a high of $66.50 earlier this year. Now Spencer hears rumors that the company will be snapped up soon at a bargain-basement price. Possible suitors include e-commerce platform vendors Blue Martini, BroadVision and ATG, as well as e-CRM players Xchange and Unica.

Balancing the books has been a problem for one client of Internet solutions vendor Aistep. An insider at the Santa Barbara, Calif., consultancy tells the Kitty that the client has had numerous bookkeeping headaches since it entrusted VeriSign Payment Services to handle its e-commerce credit card transactions. The Tabby tattler claims that VPS has auto-voided transactions without notifying technical or administrative contacts, causing the client to provide goods for which no payments have been received.

VPS also recently sent a failed batch to merchant processing company Vital and rather than verify the transmission with Vital, it just resent the batch. When Aistep questioned the double billing that resulted,VPS went ahead and posted the second charge, plus a credit to the system, without notifying anyone. The client and its customers were totally baffled to find the double charge and credit that consequently appeared on all billing records.

"I thought e-commerce was supposed to allow communication at Internet speed," laughed the lethargic Lynx.

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...