One of Silicon Valley's last true characters has signed off - Sun founder Scott McNealy has sent a final goodbye memo to his staff. In his own words McNealy is "a big mouth who is always ready with a clever quip" and his swansong email does not disappoint. He said the last four years (since he left the company) had "not been …
For a good man & his company
Re: Where is TPM ?
Sorry to let you down - Tim is based in New York so he's probably still abed...he might have some wise words to share later though...
Rich man loves capitalism!
Wipes away a tear...
Ponytail I have no time for at all, McNealy however has been there almost since day one. He has made mistakes and has admitted them but overall he was good for Sun. The man is like his fomer company, slightly off the wall, very different, prepared to shake things up and be the first to try stuff even though it didn't always come off.
End of an era and I genuinley wish Scott the very best.
`We're the only computer company that isn't a partner in some way to Microsoft, so they have a lot less leverage over us.'
"Q: So how do you feel about the proposed [Nov. 2] settlement between Microsoft and the Justice Dept.?
A: It's garbage. We've now got a much more unfettered monopolist now-one that will hurt innovation and take away people's choices."
"It's mankind against Microsoft", Nov 2001
"The way I put it is: Chapter 58 in most antitrust textbooks is
'Bundling the Browser With Your Operating System.' Chapter 1 is 'Buying Your Distribution Channel,'" McNealy said .. "It's like Standard Oil buying gas stations." June 2003
"As you know, I didn't have to write a note to my engineers that said 'security is important'", June 2003
"We are in a fairly unique position in a couple of ways. We have patent amnesty/patent peace as part of our contract .. the customer doesn't have to anticipate a patent or an IP [intellectual property] battle between the two companies.
I can guarantee you that Microsoft is going to have a very different view if Red Hat or SUSE desktops step on Microsoft IP-there's no patent peace/patent amnesty and 10-year interoperability agreement between Novell and Microsoft or between Red Hat and Microsoft.", Mar 2005
I fear that Sun will go the way of Silicon Graphics (and I don't believe the current SGI has much to do with the Silicon Graphics of yore).
I'll have one to the memory of Sun.
Not totally clean
"Nearly three decades of competing without a notable incident of our folks going off course morally or legally"
Well they did get into to bed with SCO to try and shaft linux, so not totally on the moral high ground
Paris, because she knows all about these sort of morals
Alas poor Yorik
I have quite a soft spot for Sun and their products (after 10+ years of looking after everything from Ultra 10s to the UE10000s), but when it comes down to it for small/mid scale stuff nowadays PenguinOS on x86/x64 seems to be able to do the same for less. Which would explain why I now find myself looking after multiple Dell pizza boxes running CentOS.
Very sad day
Sun was the best tech company to work for - by far. Their culture was unique - the only company I would have considered going permie at...
Truly a great loss to the industry.
Oracle is all about the shareholders - no longer really tech driven, nor focused on customers.
Let's hear one last 'Hooray!' for Sun...
Sun to me will always be the company that sold me a £5 serial cable for £80.
I turned down a job with Sun in the UK in the early 90s because they wanted me to cut my hair shorter - for a phone-support position!
RE: Dress code?
That's only in the UK. They required a full three piece suit to enter some office areas not to offend higher management there. Note that Scott always wore jeans...
Integrity and capitalism
Perhaps Scott should examine the ethics of the great surviving consolidators, are they not the ones who lied, cheated and broke the rules of law and decency?
In the light of examination could he re-evaluate what under-regulated capitalism produces?
End of an era
I hated Sun for a while since I worked for a competitor (Apollo) during the workstation wars of the late 80s. McNealy was the poster child for the hate since he was always full of bombast. Looking back on it, it was certainly entertainment.
One McNealy story from a friend of mine. He was a sales rep for Sun in NYC, and he was bringing McNealy, who was in NY for a conference, to meet with the heads of a large financial institution. They were running late, so my friend suggests using the subway instead of a "black car" (limos for hire) to get there on time. McNealy acquiesces and off they go. The short of it is the NY subway ride from hell in a overheating car with a fragrant vagrant. When they got off the train, McNealy tells my friend, "No matter what, after this meeting, we're returning in a black car."
Oh how easy it is to sweep the dirt under the carpet when most don't get to see the place from the inside.
More of the it-wasn't-me-that-broke-it denial. Is anyone at Sun actually going to admit their "brilliant people" turned a $200bn company to junk stock in less than ten years? Definately not McNeedy, who presided over the majority of the events that caused Sun's implosion.
"......Sun did not cheat, lie, or break the rule of law or decency....." Scott obviously didn't spend much time with either his marketting or sales teams. If he really wants to pretend he's all whiter-than-white then I can tell him some stories regarding Sun sales that would make his toes curl!
/Putting on coat and leaving in disgust at the level of denial coming out of Sun's boardroom.
On most occasions, Matt...
...I think you need treating for a rather severe case of rabies.
Not this time, though.
I agree with you, 100% - Sun's management has been complete and utter crap, and I think it has been as diabolical as it was because McNealy and Schwartz knew that they were always going to get golden goodbyes - regardless of their performance.
@ George of the Jungle
The funny thing about your story is that it contrasts the "old school" Sun with the one that f*cked itself up.
The most recent VP of UK & Ireland actually BOASTED to staff that she'd never travelled on public transport nor been in a Supermarket in her life.
Exactly why Sun sadly dissapeared up its own backside with clowns like that running the show (or attempting to).
Correction: he didn't leave
"in the four years since he left the company"??
He stepped down as CEO but didn't leave. He is still there as of yesterday, working as the president of Sun Federal.
Respect to that man
"......Sun did not cheat, lie, or break the rule of law or decency....."
Everyone agrees that SUN is innovative and in the forefront of technology. I didnt see FUD from SUN, nor lies.
Sure, Schwartz claimed that Niagara could in best case, be counted as a ~30GHz chip or some number like that - but was that a lie? No, considering there are workloads where the Niagara is several times faster than a 5GHz CPU. To be several times faster than 5GHz, you need the CPU to have an equivalent speed of 30GHz. And Niagara IS that fast, on some work loads. For instance, you need 28 POWER6 cpus to match 4 Niagara T2 on Siebel V8. Hence, it is not a lie. If it were a lie, it could never happen in any scenario that 1.4GHz catched up and surpassed 5GHz, on any benchmark. But it happens.
Sens morale, I didnt see FUD from SUN as I see from e.g. IBM today. Granted, I didnt read everything SUN did, but at least, I, didnt see any FUD.
Sun, was the only real Open Systems company...
Nothing else like Sun in the market...
- Open Instruction Set Specifications (SPARC)
- Open Source CPU (OpenSPARC)
- Open Firmware (IEEE-1275)
- Open Source Operating System (OpenSolaris)
- Open OS Stadards (POSIX)
- Open File Sharing (NFS)
- Open X Windowing System (X11)
- Open Source Office Applications (OpenOffice)
- Open Source Database (MySQL)
- Open Language (Java)
- Open Stack (GlassFish)
The list goes on and on - how the market loved proprietary and hated open...
Good Bye Old Friends!
I don't know, GC. I was in Silicon Valley and nobody wanted to work for Sun back in the late 90s. From what I gathered, the culture was highly aggressive, back-stabbing and with a high turnover. Hardly anyone seemed to last more than 2 years in the company. Burn out.
When we, in another high-tech company, lost one cunning and less-than-honest manager, we (peer managers and our direct reports) weren't too surprised that he went to Sun.
Maybe it was different in other parts of the world? Loved, loved loved their hardware though!
McNeally on Microsoft product names
I for one will always miss the entertainment.
McNealy has coined some of the funniest names for Microsoft products hinting at their security issues.
I can remember two, others may be able to expand the list:
ie: Internet Exploder
Sun's potshots at MS
I still miss that "Jacques Cousteau" commercial where he dies because his scuba equipment uses Windows NT. "Ze last thing he saw vas not the blue of the sea, but the Blue Screen of Death."
I'm going to miss these guys.
Buy a mug for the next mtg with Oracle
You created a company that brought some great products to the market.
Unfortunately....at the end of the day a company has to make a return for its owners (shareholders)
I hope you regret the ponytail decision