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Sun's McNealy chides Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat

Sun's McNealy chides Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat

Sun Microsystems Chairman and CEO, Scott McNealy, has extended an open invitation to Microsoft and Linux OS vendor Red Hat to join the Java Community Process (JCP), and also stressed that Sun, which has struggled financially lately, is not going away.

The JCP provides a procedure for proposing and amending the Java platform. While noting that Sun and Microsoft had been working behind the scenes to better cooperate as per a recent agreement, McNealy nonetheless urged both Microsoft and Red Hat to join the JCP.

"I encourage both of these organizations to come to class and to participate and to contribute," McNealy said at the 2004 JavaOne conference. McNealy said Sun and Microsoft had been working on efforts such as directory interoperability, to enable users to log in to both .Net and Java environments simultaneously.

An announcement about phase 1 of interoperability between Sun and Microsoft was expected this summer, McNealy said. Microsoft is not participating in the JavaOne conference, though, according to Microsoft representatives.

Sun has been a good steward of Java, McNealy said, defending the company's position to not open up Java under an open source format. "Somebody's got to be in charge or nobody is," he said.

McNealy criticised IBM for urging Sun to offer Java under an open source format, stressing IBM had been lacking in its own open source contributions while Sun has been a major contributor.

He defended Sun's financial position, saying the company has had 22 per cent year-to-year growth in server unit volumes in the past three quarters.

Sun was not going away, McNealy said. The company had about $US7.5 billion in cash in the bank and an installed base that has provided $US131 billion in revenue to Sun to date.

Sun, however, posted a net loss of $US760 million for its third fiscal quarter of 2004, which ended March 28, and posted a net loss of $US125 million for the quarter before that.

Also at JavaOne:

  • McNealy and Sun President and COO, Jonathan Schwartz, argued that JavaCard technology used on PCs could solve the virus problem prevalent on Windows PCs by providing multifactor authentication. Identifying the user abatef mischief, the Sun officials stressed. "We haven't played this up a lot but no one's written a virus in Java," Schwartz said.
  • McNealy and Schwartz downplayed the impact of Sun's plans to provide its Solaris OS through an open source format. They said many parties wee just not interested. "I haven't run into one customer that thinks we need to open-source Solaris," McNealy said. "It's a wonderful tempest in a media teapot."
  • Schwartz said he believed Sun's chief marketing officer, Anil Gadre, soon would leave the company. Gadre has been present and active at JavaOne. Sun's former vice-president of software marketing, Gadre replaced Mark Tolliver as the company's chief marketing and strategy officer a few months ago.
  • McNealy urged attendees to fight to maintain stock options, which he said may go away because of congressional action.

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