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McNealy: Sun Diversifying 'Delivery Mechanisms'

Aug 15, 2002, 16:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jacqueline Emigh)

By Jacqueline Emigh

"We're not diversifying our platform," said Sun CEO Scott McNealy, in a quick conversation at LinuxWorld with Linux Today. "We're diversifying our delivery mechanisms." Meanwhile, Sun competitors like IBM and HP have been accusing McNealy of making a variety of remarks at the show that either muddy the waters or taste of "me-tooism."

"Our platform is Sun ONE. With Sun ONE, you can use Java to 'write once and deploy anywhere,'" McNealy told Linux Today.

"I'm not sure what McNealy meant by 'delivery mechanisms,'" replied Scott Handy, director of Linux solutions marketing for the IBM Software Group, when asked to respond to the Sun chief's statement. "During his keynote, McNealy didn't even say which distribution of Linux his company is using." Although McNealy didn't have much time to elaborate, it's a good bet that he was talking about hardware (e.g. RISC/Intel) and software operating environments (Solaris and Sun Linux 5.0) as the "mechanisms." At a press conference just before LinuxWorld, Sun made a formal announcement of the LX50, a PC designed to run both Linux and Solaris. As spelled out in press materials, the LX50 will also come with the Sun ONE software stack, for use by Java and XML application developers.

During the show itself, though, McNealy and other Sun officials made scattershot statements pointing in a variety of possible directions for the future, blindsiding the opposition with guessing games.

At a post-keynote press Q&A, honchos from Sun refused to count out desktop Linux as a potential product going forward. "Intel blade servers" could take a while, due to the need to write special software, the journalists were told. McNealy indicated that Sun will put forth a fuller, clearer Linux product strategy at an event in September.

Sun rivals are fighting back by taking shots at Sun's perceived shortcomings in the Intel space. "Sun is coming late to the party," pronounced Judy Chavis, a Linux strategist for "the new HP," during a UnitedLinux press conference at LinuxWorld.

"The things McNealy has been mentioning lately - a single Linux server, clusters of servers, Web sites, 'giving back to the community'--are things that IBM started doing four years ago," echoed Daniel D. Frye, Ph.D., director of the IBM Linux Technology Center, during an interview this week at the Moscone Center.

"Now IBM is riding on momentum we've already built with Linux," Handy concurred. "Let's not forget, either, that Sun didn't do so well its first time around with Solaris for PCs. That OS ran way too slow," he charged.

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