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Sun Builds Computers - Duh

I had a rather terse exchange with Scott McNealy in the mid-90s, just trying to make conversation while we waited for the CEO of my employer to show up to a meeting.

The appointment's time, location, and topic matter had been painstakingly scheduled over a period of months, and my CEO's lateness that day induced some sweaty palms on my behalf and some scowls on behalf of Scott and his handlers.

The meeting (which ended up being severely truncated) was located behind the scenes at a tradeshow called SunWorld that we had developed to complement a magazine by the same name that we published.

I decided not to try to talk golf or hockey with him, as he didn't seem in the mood. Instead, given we were at a trade show dedicated to Sun's business, I mentioned the business that Sun was in, namely, computers.

The gist of my rather simple point-of-view was that "Sun builds computers."

At that point in time, Sun was the clear market leader in its space and was threatening to drive major players such as HP and IBM right out of the arenas in which they mutually competed.

So why, I wondered, fuss with all this chip-building, software-producing, network-inducing, and other paraphernalia, which was obscuring the message?

My unsolicited opinion did nothing to lighten Scott's mood. But yet, here in 2009, it seems these three words remain the gist of the company and the gist of the Oracle-Sun deal.

More on this tomorrow...














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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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