Good Scott Interview in The Reg

boosh - Posted on 02 February 2011

McNealy to Ellison: How to duck death by open source • The Register Interview Let's forget the last few years ever happened — the last five, at least. Possibly 10. In the 1980s Sun Microsystems was on fire. Good story from The Reg, talking to Scott McNealy about where Sun went wrong and what strategies Oracle should pursue to be successful.  Mostly about what went wrong though. Scott places a lot of blame on the decision to drop Solaris x86. I remember when Solaris x86 disappeared... just vanished off the face of the company. This helped allow Linux to gain ground -quickly- in the low end *nix server market. It was really like upper management (Scott says not him) was just sticking their heads in the ground (or somewhere else) regarding the threat Linux was obviously becoming. They just chose not to acknowledge it. Scott says x86 should have been open-sourced (patents owned by other at the time made this not possible). The biggest problem with x86 is it didn't run on a whole lot of hardware types. Having open-source developers write drivers for different hardware for you is a great idea, but I'm not sure that thought really existed in 2000. Solaris' whole image was rock-solid, tested high-end tightly integrated software and hardware. I can see why execs would cringe at the thought of high school kids writing code for it. Another interesting bit is Scott talking about trying to protect as many employee jobs as possible while having to be accountable to shareholders. i truly believe this to be the case. Scott was always terribly protective of his employees, possibly to a fault. He delayed for as long as possible any lay-offs after the .com bubble burst. Definitely one of the "good guys" in the business world, and we know how hard to come by "good guys" are in the business world these days. Enjoy the read. -boosh


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