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LinuxWorld: Where Scott McNealy's Wrong About the Economics of Open Source

Aug 08, 2002, 17:30 (63 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nicholas Petreley)

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"McNealy believes open source is screwing up Sun's revenue models. The result is that Sun does not have enough money to market Sun ONE to the same degree that Microsoft markets .NET. The result could be a total win for .NET.

"I can't deny that open source is screwing up revenue models, and not only Sun's but also the revenue models for many companies. It is also difficult to refute his contention that this cripple's Sun's ability to market Sun ONE effectively. I would like to say there is a sense of balance because open source is interfering with both Sun and Microsoft's revenue models. But Sun doesn't have the billions in the bank that Microsoft has accumulated over the years through an abuse of monopoly power, so Sun is at an unfair disadvantage.

"At a personal level, I admit some sympathy for McNealy's views. In the first place, I'd hate to see Sun ONE suffer at the hand of either Microsoft's marketing bucks or the economic effects of open source, because I happen to admire the Sun ONE vision and the technologies behind it. My sense of fairness says Sun should get some benefit from the R&D efforts it has put into J2EE and all of the other technologies it developed. Worse, if .NET wins because open source undermined Sun's revenue model, that would not only be bad for Sun, but for the open source community, as well..."

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