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Ex-Sun Chief Dishes Dirt On Gates, Jobs

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the why-is-there-no-extra dept.

Businesses 241

alphadogg writes "Former CEO of Sun Microsystems Jonathan Schwartz has taken to his personal blog, provocatively titled 'What I couldn't say ...,' to dish some industry dirt and tell his side of the story about the demise of Sun. He has already hinted at plans to write a book, and a new post suggests a tell-all tome could indeed be in the offing. 'I feel for Google — Steve Jobs threatened to sue me, too,' Schwartz writes, apparently referring to Apple's patent lawsuit against HTC, which makes Google's Nexus One smartphone. As for Bill Gates, Schwartz says he was threatening regarding Sun's efforts in the office software space."

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I wonder (4, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425532)

If his blog is running on a Sun box.

Re:I wonder (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425570)

Wordpress.com? Virtually certain to be Linux on cheap x86s.

Ironic, if perhaps appropriate, that the technology behind is current blog is (among other reasons) the reason that his current occupation is "blogger"...

Re:I wonder (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425936)

Actually, they're probably HP [pingdom.com] boxes. Of course, those HPs are similar to low-end Sun x86s.

Re:I wonder (4, Interesting)

6031769 (829845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425572)

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426180)

Doesn't show anything except that it has a nginx front end proxy.

Re:I wonder (3, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426930)

Wait... you mean netcraft does not confirm it?

Re:I wonder (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425708)

It is powered by The Schwartz.

So he was the CEO of a huge multinational company (0, Offtopic)

titten (792394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425586)

...and couldn't say these things?
Somehow, I find that hard to believe.

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (3, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425640)

A CEO of a company cannot go about leaking any information that could damage the company unless he ok with all the shareholders suing him.

And a CEO does not necessarily own the company he runs, meaning he can(and would) be replaced.

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (4, Insightful)

titten (792394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425684)

These threats, and counter threats, happen all the time. He says so himself in the article, which is why they needed a good base of patents.
Not exactly damaging to the company.

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (2, Insightful)

ebuck (585470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426142)

The idea that a company is being threatened with a single lawsuit is enough to cause a small panic in the stock price. Repeat this multiple times, and you'll have a company with an undervalued stock price. While you are correct that such actions happen all the time, it's appropriate for a CEO not to mention them, as a CEO is interested in increasing the stock price.

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (-1, Troll)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426912)

"A CEO of a company cannot go about leaking any information that could damage the company unless he ok with all the shareholders suing him.
And a CEO does not necessarily own the company he runs, meaning he can(and would) be replaced."

Ok, I'm not sure you're in your right mind, what with all the broken English you're spouting, so I should give you the benefit of the doubt- your point is a bit lost on me; but its obvious you're missing the one important fact here: SCHWARTZ IS NO LONGER THE CEO OF SUN. Or are you talking about some other, CURRENT CEO of some other corp????

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31427030)

Isn't that also why no one is held accountable for a company's actions?

We should probably get around to changing that one of these days. -SOMEONE- has to be in charge in order to take the responsibility.

Don't shit where you eat (4, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425648)

CEOs especially have to be careful. They don't want to piss off their biggest customers. Nor do they want to say anything that might negatively affect their stock price. And that could be anything, especially whinging on about Gates or Jobs.

Shooting your mouth off about everyone in the business is not a good way to win friends and influence people.

Re:Don't shit where you eat (3, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426892)

Shooting your mouth off about everyone in the business is not a good way to win friends and influence people.

Has anyone told Darl McBride this?

Re:Don't shit where you eat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426976)

I'm going to fucking sue your ass into the next century, Captain Splendid!

-- Darl McBride Esq.

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (4, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425742)

The key is public company, meaning that his responsibilities are to the shareholders, as represented by the board of directors, at whose pleasure he serves. The board is usually themselves major stockholders and very, very rich people with their own networks of external influence. Sometimes people are on the boards of more than one company -- like Jobs with Apple, Disney and Pixar (hey, I wonder why Disney and Pixar team up so often?). So no, as others have said, just because compared to us he's untouchable doesn't mean he really is. And in jobs like that, what everyone else thinks doesn't just matter -- its the ONLY thing that matters.

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425994)

hey, I wonder why Disney and Pixar team up so often?

Disney bought Pixar in 2006 (which is also how Jobs ended up on the Disney board).

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (2, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426030)

(hey, I wonder why Disney and Pixar team up so often?)

You've got your order of execution backwards. Jobs didn't hold huge shares of Disney until after Disney bought into Pixar.

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (0)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426710)

I could be wrong, but wasn't Jobs associated with Pixar before Disney bought into PIxar?

Re:So he was the CEO of a huge multinational compa (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426740)

Yes. Jobs bought Pixar from Lucasfilms

Good stuff (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425592)

Hopefully it'll be good stuff, like him only tipping 6% or never washing his hands when he took a whizz (because it comes out the end, not the sides). Hopefully they'll include the time he slapped Steve Ballmer upside the head for not siding with him over Vista's design.

But unfortunately it'll probably just be some boring anti-trust nonsense.

Book about Microsoft (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425762)

A good, but old, book that gives an idea of the reality of Microsoft is Barbarians Led by Bill Gates. [amazon.com] (August 15, 1998)

The book was written by Jennifer Edstrom, the daughter of Pam Edstrom, manager of Microsoft's P.R. agency, Waggener Edstrom, and a former Microsoft manager. The Amazon.com review says the book "... presents a harsher and messier history, sharply questioning Microsoft's ethics and corporate wisdom..."

The book seems authoritative; the authors certainly had inside access to the facts. It's certainly unusual that the daughter of one of the heads of Microsoft's P.R. agency would write a book discussing Microsoft's abusiveness in detail.

Re:Book about Microsoft (4, Insightful)

goldmaneye (1374027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426856)

The Amazon.com review says the book "... presents a harsher and messier history, sharply questioning Microsoft's ethics and corporate wisdom..."

From the same Amazon review:
"Both stand open to the charge of having an ax to grind, and the reader senses a lot of personal animosity at work."

The book seems authoritative; the authors certainly had inside access to the facts.

Emphasis on "seems." The Amazon reviewer you quoted further mentions that some of the information was already available, and that "... most of the new information presented has the ring, at least, of probability."

Not a strong endorsement of this book as "the reality of Microsoft." Probably an interesting and amusing read, but one that needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Re:Good stuff (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425814)

Well, if the TFA is any preview, there isn't going to be anything in there that's going to be much of a surprise.

In other words, it'll be the same Schwartz we came to know and love at Sun - all hat and no cattle.

Re:Good stuff (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426154)

I don't think there's going to be any good stuff...

From TFA,

Jobs: If we moved forward to commercialize it, "I'll just sue you."

Schwartz: And that was the last I heard on the topic. Although we ended up abandoning Looking Glass

As in life, bluster and threat are commonplace in business

It seems unfair to call it "bluster and threat" when the reason that Jobs didn't go through with his promised action was that there was no need to...

This reads like a lot of bull to me.

Wash your hands before you have a piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426580)

You've been handling all sorts of filthy things with your hands, your cock and balls should be nice and clean as they've been in your pants.

Valuable Java Patents (4, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425636)

I wonder which Java patents Schwartz was referring to, Checked Exceptions or Type Erasure?

Re:Valuable Java Patents (4, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426108)

I'm sure most of the patents are in the virutal machine technology like HotSpot and various APIs that are used on the Java platform (like how he mentions Kodak suing over RMI in the article).

Java has checked and unchecked exceptions (Exception vs RuntimeException), so the developer gets to choose how strict to be with parts of their API. Type Erasure can be annoying but it's fairly clever for maintaining backwards compatibility and the end results are much faster than "true generics" found in other platforms.

Re:Valuable Java Patents (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426736)

Unfortunately, the developer doesn't get to choose which parts of Java API uses checked or unchecked exceptions.

Re:Valuable Java Patents (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426124)

I just assumed it was the patent about compiling everything into fake instructions for a slow virtual machine.

The only thing that's changed since the early 90s is the "slow" part.

Re:Valuable Java Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426498)

Oh, only the "slow" changed? To basically match and in quite some case surpass C? But, yup, "only" that changed.

Don't forget that in addition to being "slow", the JVM was and still is immune by design to buffer overrun/overflow. The only Java buffer overflow I remember on Linux was back when Java was using a native C written Linux lib. Funny ain't it?
 

Re:Valuable Java Patents (3, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426826)

Java and the JVM's advantages aren't really over C but over statically compiled OO languages like C++.

When you write an app in C++ and use a lot of OO techniques, it causes your application to perform all kinds of lookups and lots of indirection at runtime while resolving virtual calls, etc. Because it's compiled statically, you're always going to pay a huge cost if your application is complex and there's no way to fix it because the application's memory image is... static.

However with Java and other similar technologies like .NET, which can alter and optimize the application at runtime, these types of OO-based indirections can be nearly eliminated if they're part of a bottleneck. The virtual machine can literally devirtualize virtual functions on the fly.

Since C is a much simpler language (good for systems development), these indirections don't exist and a well written C app will probably always be faster than it's Java (or C++) equivalent. It will just be harder to maintain as it grows more complex.

Re:Valuable Java Patents (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426960)

You JVM advocates always throw out that "faster than C" line. I know, I know, you can prove it, too, using one of your many highly-controlled microbenchmarks that have absolutely no relevance in the real world.

I know, I know, bytecode and JIT compilation allows for CPU-specific optimizations to be done. That's great, except that even the best JVMs today don't do that.

I know, I know, the JVM is more secure. That's great, except that bounds checking does have significant overhead, and in real-world Java apps it can become a significant problem.

Face it, Java is slow, and the situation hasn't really improved since the mid-1990s when Java was first released. The only reason we don't notice as often today that it's goddamn slow is because hardware has become tens of thousands of times faster in that same time period. Yes, the hardware designers saved your ass.

Re:Valuable Java Patents (1)

ebuck (585470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426186)

The stack based virtual machine? Sorry, just too many bad patent stories of late... :)

Re:Valuable Java Patents (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426898)

The stack based virtual machine?

You mean FORTH?

yawn.... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425638)

I hate MS as much as the next guy (er slashdotter)... but this whole article reads as 'gates said THIS and then I said THAT and he shut his mouth and the conversation ended!'.

Sun is a horrible company. McNeally was a clown. Schwartz filled his big ol shoes really well. Print your book... as many people will buy it as bought.... anything you've sold in the last 5 years. You can join Raph Koster in the 'I wrote a book and no one cared' section.

Sun had 20 years, and still lost the OS battle.... (2, Insightful)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425672)

...which means that any dirt dished will seem like sour grapes, and be ignored - so I guess at least he'll be consistent

Re:Sun had 20 years, and still lost the OS battle. (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425784)

I'm not sure why operating system adoption needs to be a battle to win. The venture almost certainly made multi-millionheirs out of its founders like Bill Joy and Scot McNealy, and just because over time it crumpled under new competition doesn't mean that they didn't have a good run of it. Hell, who wouldn't want to be in their shoes, even today?

Re:Sun had 20 years, and still lost the OS battle. (3, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426158)

It is to Bill Gates. And that makes it a battle for everyone.

Re:Sun had 20 years, and still lost the OS battle. (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426572)

So, they made a single error (not releasing Solaris under the GPL 10 years earlier) and wound up losing one battle because of it. They did not lose the Java battle (although if Oracle does not pull it together, Java may yet be crushed by .NET) and they did not lose the OpenOffice.org/StarOffice battle (they do not have Microsoft's market share, but adoption of OpenOffice.org is certainly growing), and those two are probably much more important than Solaris, in the long run; had Sun realized this sooner, perhaps they would not have been taken over.

I appreciate the insight from Schwartz but ... (5, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425734)

It's interesting what Schwartz has to say about how things work "on the inside". Companies bluffing and calling each other's bluff. Showing up and going "I'm watching you". His description makes it sound a bit like Jobs & Gates hadn't really thought their cunning plan all the way through, which I would think is unlikely. I'd have guessed they were just testing Sun's resolve, finding out how Sun evaluated their own patent portfolio, investigating whether these projects (Looking Glass and OpenOffice) were just a tech demo or were something that Sun wanted to stand by and protect. What his blog post didn't mention was on how many occasions Sun did the same thing to another company, big or small. It would be laudable if they refused to do that but it would also mean they were deliberately pulling their punches, so it would be a bit surprising from a large corporation.

NetApp sued sun over patents ZFS arguably violated: http://www.sun.com/lawsuit/zfs/ [sun.com] . But NetApp alleged that Sun had first demanded patent royalties from NetApp and that they were acting in response to that: http://blogs.netapp.com/dave/2007/09/sun-patent-team.html [netapp.com]

Who knows where the truth lies over the ZFS case but it does open the prospect that Sun wasn't sitting passively by and getting threatened by other companies. On the other hand, there could be more to this story than meets the eye (e.g. the kind of high level meetings Schwartz refers to, preceeding the legal letters) in which case it might not be anything like so simple. We've not generally seen Sun visibly holding back (or trying to) the marketplace using patents as much as, say, MS or Apple might have done. But it doesn't mean that given their investment in patents they didn't try to use them.

Threat or Warning (-1, Flamebait)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425736)

I love how people are eager to describe it as "Steve threatening to sue" when I see it as Steve showing an industry colleague the respect they deserve and picking up the phone himself to make a personal, direct call to provide advance warning and give the other company the chance to remedy the problem before the lawyers are unleashed. If Steve was so evil, he just would have given the lawyers the go-ahead and the first Sun would have known of the issue is when the legal papers arrived. That didn't happen. Phone calls were made and companies were given the chance to fix the issues before it turned nasty.

Now, I know that flies in the face of the oh-so-cool "Apple is teh evil!" that is all the rage lately but, seriously, can we get some perspective. Steve himself made a call. He didn't pawn it off on an underling. He showed his industry colleague the respect they deserve by making the call himself. He gave advance warning. He let the other company decide whether to take their chances or change their plans. He gave them the power to determine their fate. Sounds pretty respectful to me.

Also, let's be real - what is Apple supposed to do? Sit back and let other companies infringe their patents? Apple isn't a patent troll. They actually spend massive amounts of money on R&D. They produce a broad range of products. They are exactly the sort of company that the patent system is intended to protect. If they don't use their patents to protect their investments then what is the point of patents.

Seriously, I know it's cool to hate on Apple lately but can we at least find reasons that have some vague basis in logic to hate them. Is it really so hard to find reasons to hate Apple that we have to make up reasons?

Going for fanboy of the day are we? (5, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425774)

If you read that as a friendly reminder between CEO pals, you really have to take the Apple colored glasses off.

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (0)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425834)

It's business. In fact, it's big business. What do you think Apple should do when they feel a competitor is infringing their patents?

No, really. What should Apple, a multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporation with millions of shareholders do when a competitor is possibly infringing their patents?

Since the answer is likely obvious, what is the next step? This is what determines how respectful the process is. Do you just let loose the dogs of law or do you make a phone call and have a stern conversation that makes the situation clear? I'm sure Steve used firm language but _he made a call and gave Sun a heads up._ He could have just let the lawyers go to town and have a field day. Hell, that probably would have earned Apple more money in the long run but he made a phone call.

I find it laughable that anyone would be upset that Apple protects their patents. That's what the patent system is set up for. I know patents are "teh evil" but they are in place to protect companies just like Apple. Patent trolls give patents a bad name, not Apple.

You're blinded by the en vogue hatred of Apple. Find a real reason to hate them. You're making up reasons here.

You're funny (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425858)

You're funny how much you just gush for Apple.

I enjoy it. Promise you'll never change.

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425964)

what exactly the iphone has so novel to be patentable? multitouch, but on a phone? that doesn't really work.
custom chips? no the iphone uses standard stuff - top of the line, maye, but readily available.
candybar keyboard less design with only one big screen? nothing new there.

probably the only stuff truly patentable on the iphone is the jack connecting the headphones.

so yes apple is trolling, in any sense of the term. ..or you can point to a single iphone novelty patents that truly have not previous art or is not "X but on a phone"?

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426046)

Sorry, at what point was this anything to do with the iPhone? This was about similarities between a desktop GUI produced by Sun (that never saw the light of day) and the then Mac OS user interface.

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426590)

parent is talking about apple defending their patents not being a troll. last apple trolling was no htc. follow the news!

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (3, Insightful)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425992)

I would expect Apple to do what most companies do---use their patent portfolios defensively. Apple doesn't though, they use it as a weapon. There's nothing that says that Apple is obligated to enforce patents, doing so is within their rights but it doesn't make them ethical. What goes around comes around. Nothing I like more than seeing patent scumbags get what they have coming and that includes Apple.

Curiously, everything you described that "suggests" that Apple was being magnanimous could also be said of Microsoft. They are a large company with a substantial investment in IP and Bill Gates was most surely just giving Sun a heads up on their Office infringement, right?

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (0, Troll)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426048)

um welcome to the 21st century. Companies haven't used their patents defensively since the 70's, possibly even earlier. Likewise in this situation Apple WAS using it defencively, they were saying "Dont do that we have the patent on that." Which Sun responded with "We will do that because we have a patnetn on this and you are using it." You completely have no clue whatsoever about big business if you honestly think patents are meant to be certificates on a wall and nothing more.

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426194)

Patents give patents a bad name. When everyone's playing dirty pool, maybe you have to as well to stay in the game... but it doesn't mean it's not dirty pool.

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426266)

The patent system was not intended to be used like this. It is SUPPOSED to encourage invention for the benefit of society; NOT for the greed of a company. You invent something, you have a little time as the sole provider of said invention to make your R&D money back (plus some), then EVERYONE is free to use what you discovered and IMPROVE upon it for the benefit of the public (and to prevent a market monopoly).

Re:Going for fanboy of the day are we? (0, Troll)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426410)

Excellent troll. A+.

They should ignore them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426600)

And go to buy US Congressmen to pass athe necessary legislation to abolish software patents from the US for good.

If you are talking about physical devices or inventions, then fine, Apple should sue the socks of anybody that is using their ideas, but software patents are a patent abomination.

Re:Threat or Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425796)

Apple love software patents, stuff that's already been implemented elsewhere and simple enough to be created independently by any competent coder. Apple use off the shelf components, stuff that real innovative companies design and manufacturer to enable companies like apple to make their shiny toys.

Re:Threat or Warning (4, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425810)

"I love how people are eager to describe it as "Steve threatening to sue" when I see it as Steve showing an industry colleague the respect they deserve and picking up the phone himself to make a personal, direct call to provide advance warning and give the other company the chance to remedy the problem before the lawyers are unleashed."

Yes I always appreciated the bully saying "Give me your lunch money, nerd" before actually punching me in the face and then taking my lunch money. The robber who said "Hand over your wallet" is such a friend.

Re:Threat or Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425836)

lol wut

Re:Threat or Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425896)

i see it the total opposite, if it went to court apple are not sure of winning , Job's makes a call , hopes to scare sun into submission and therefore you kill the competitors product without costing or risking anything.

Re:Threat or Warning (5, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425916)

I love how people are eager to describe it as "Steve threatening to sue" when I see it as Steve showing an industry colleague the respect they deserve and picking up the phone himself to make a personal, direct call to provide advance warning and give the other company the chance to remedy the problem before the lawyers are unleashed. If Steve was so evil, he just would have given the lawyers the go-ahead and the first Sun would have known of the issue is when the legal papers arrived. That didn't happen. Phone calls were made and companies were given the chance to fix the issues before it turned nasty.

I don't think you understand how big an undertaking litigation is. Steve made that call because he hoped to prevent a competitor from releasing a product he was nervous about. Respect had absolutely nothing to do with it. Even if he thought he would win (and Steve is neither a lawyer nor a GUI developer so he has no special insight into whether he would), lawsuits are expensive.

Now, I know that flies in the face of the oh-so-cool "Apple is teh evil!" that is all the rage lately but, seriously, can we get some perspective. Steve himself made a call. He didn't pawn it off on an underling. He showed his industry colleague the respect they deserve by making the call himself. He gave advance warning. He let the other company decide whether to take their chances or change their plans. He gave them the power to determine their fate. Sounds pretty respectful to me.

I find it fascinating that you and people like you will not be swayed by three decades of firsthand accounts as to how Jobs treats people, not only competitors but employees and business partners. Why are you so desperate to paint Jobs as anything other than a narcissist? I can understand you love Apple, but why do you extend that love to the CEO too? Can't you really like a movie without also idolizing the president of the production company? My response was simple. "Steve, I was just watching your last presentation, and Keynote looks identical to Concurrence - do you own that IP?" Concurrence was a presentation product built by Lighthouse Design, a company I'd help to found and which Sun acquired in 1996. Lighthouse built applications for NeXTSTEP, the Unix based operating system whose core would become the foundation for all Mac products after Apple acquired NeXT in 1996. Steve had used Concurrence for years, and as Apple built their own presentation tool, it was obvious where they'd found inspiration. "And last I checked, MacOS is now built on Unix. I think Sun has a few OS patents, too." Steve was silent.

Re:Threat or Warning (1, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426222)

I'm not saying Steve is a wonderful guy. He's a business man running a business. Please explain to me what you think a business should do when they feel a competitor is infringing their patents. No, really. Let's be serious for a moment and boil it down to the core issue - what should a company do when they feel a competitor is infringing their patents? Now, if you give pretty much the only logical answer that anyone with a hint of business sense could possibly give, then the next question is "why should Apple act differently?" Seriously, why is it evil when Apple does what you would expect any company to do in a similar situation?

Oh yeah, that's right - because it's cool to hate Apple right now. If you want to hate Apple, find a legitimate reason to do so. This is not one of them. This is the CEO of a company on the outs spouting sour grapes. Boo hoo.

And, as someone else commented in another thread, if you think Sun sat on their patent portfolio and twiddled their thumbs idly, you're delusional.

Re:Threat or Warning (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426802)

I'm not saying Steve is a wonderful guy. He's a business man running a business. Please explain to me what you think a business should do when they feel a competitor is infringing their patents. No, really. Let's be serious for a moment and boil it down to the core issue - what should a company do when they feel a competitor is infringing their patents? Now, if you give pretty much the only logical answer that anyone with a hint of business sense could possibly give, then the next question is "why should Apple act differently?" Seriously, why is it evil when Apple does what you would expect any company to do in a similar situation?

Anyone with a hint of business sense would give the only logical answer possible: it depends. A real business person would ask themselves what are the pros and cons of suing? Is this real competition? Would I be spending millions of dollars to litigate something that we can win in the marketplace? Does the entity I want to sue have its own patents it can leverage against us? Would the benefits outweigh any negative publicity? Where would I have to sue them? Is this a company I want to stay on good terms with? Real business is not so cut and dried as you seem to think.

Re:Threat or Warning (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426236)

Misformatted the end part there, should have had this separately:

My response was simple. "Steve, I was just watching your last presentation, and Keynote looks identical to Concurrence - do you own that IP?" Concurrence was a presentation product built by Lighthouse Design, a company I'd help to found and which Sun acquired in 1996. Lighthouse built applications for NeXTSTEP, the Unix based operating system whose core would become the foundation for all Mac products after Apple acquired NeXT in 1996. Steve had used Concurrence for years, and as Apple built their own presentation tool, it was obvious where they'd found inspiration. "And last I checked, MacOS is now built on Unix. I think Sun has a few OS patents, too." Steve was silent.

Isn't not suing in the first place when you can even more respectful?

Re:Threat or Warning (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426320)

Yes, it's more respectful. It's also bad business, especially in the realm of multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporations. People that make decisions like that don't run companies like that. In my opinion, he found the respectful middle ground while also making the right business decision for a man in his position.

Re:Threat or Warning (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425946)

I am not anti-patent. I hold a patent in fact but it is a hardware patent.
Software like stories, music, and math really should not be patentable.
I can understand Apple getting software patents just as Sun, IBM, and other companies do and as was explained in the blog they make a great defense. When any software company goes after another company with patents they are being a patent troll and are being evil.
Microsoft going after Tom Tom and Amazon with Linux patents == evil.
Apple going after HTC == evil.
In both of these cases it was double evil. Do you really think that Jobs was showing "respect"? Or that Gates was?
Both where hoping to bully their way to eliminate a potental threat.
Both where hoping that they could get Sun to give up a project with only a small chance of profit with at threat of a law suit.
Do you honestly think that Microsoft and Apple think they never infringe on anybodies patents?
Please it was a nasty business tactic and by all rights evil. Of course Jobs and Gates are sitting on giant money mountians and Jonathan Schwartz is posting on a Wordpress blog so being evil and nasty seems to pay.

Boy I wish Google had bought Sun. Not that Google is with out sin but I would love to see Google have OO.org, Netbeans, ZFS, and Solaris. Maybe they would have even made ZFS GPL. I would classify Google as a lesser evil at this time.

Re:Threat or Warning (1)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426000)

Hmm, Score:3 Funny. I don't know if you meant that as humorous or not. I chuckled a bit that's for sure. Hey but as long as we're talking about vague logic, how about them Apple patents!

Re:Threat or Warning (2, Insightful)

Reber Is Reber (1434683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426014)

According to Jonathan Schwartz, Steve Jobs told him "If you move forward to commercialize it, I'll just sue you." over the phone after Sun presented Looking Glass, a desktop concept similar to Mac OS X's....

I may not be a Mensa member but I think I may be smart enough to describe that as "Steve threatening to sue...."

You show respect to your peers.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426038)

... by not peddling software patents.

Any person with a technical background knows they are immoral and unethical, so you should not be using them unless you are defending yourself from somebody unscrupulous.

Re:Threat or Warning (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426214)

So Steve Jobs is some sort of hero because he wanted to save some money on lawyers and just make the threat in person?!?!? Man, you must REALLY be an Apple fanboy.

Re:Threat or Warning (2, Insightful)

ebuck (585470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426254)

If Steve was showing respect, he wouldn't back it up with threats; you don't threaten a person you respect. In fact, you seldom offer advice to a person you respect, you ASK for advice from persons you respect.

Re:Threat or Warning (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426358)

Delusional fanboy detected

Re:Threat or Warning (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426362)

To the mods: I re-read his post and tried to place it in the context of the /. position on Apple, and I don't think he is trying to be funny. I think it's a genuine, heartfelt, desperate cry for Steve to violate him.

Re:Threat or Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31427010)

Thanks be to Steve.

What do you expect? (1)

somecoffeemug (1680420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425782)

"As for Bill Gates, Schwartz says he was threatening regarding Sun's efforts in the office software space." Well, what do you expect from a competitor?

Re:What do you expect? (4, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425912)

Well, what do you expect from a competitor?

To release a better, or cheaper product.

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426340)

Well, what do you expect from a competitor?

To release a better, or cheaper product.

Amen to that.

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426642)

In which twisted universe? Though.. I guess it requires a mature brain to see through that illusion.

heh.. kids these days.... so full of hope..

Sweet Hairdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425822)

I hope that he cut off that damn pony tail.

Larry Ellison... (1)

fatp (1171151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425828)

Nothing about Larry Ellison?

Disappointed... no interest...

Re:Larry Ellison... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425972)

Nothing about Larry Ellison?

Disappointed... no interest...

Might be there was an agreement that prevents him from commenting... Oracle stock might still be valuable to the Schwartz.

A Tell-All book on Steve Jobs and Bill Gates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425852)

Great idea, there hasn't been one of those published about either of them in the last two months or so!

But I could be wrong.

Grow Up@ (4, Interesting)

Reber Is Reber (1434683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425868)

According to Jonathan Schwartz, Steve Jobs told him "If you move forward to commercialize it, I'll just sue you." over the phone after Sun presented Looking Glass, a desktop concept similar to Mac OS X's. After that, Schwartz put Steve in his place:

"Steve, I was just watching your last presentation, and Keynote looks identical to Concurrence – do you own that IP?" Concurrence was a presentation product built by Lighthouse Design, a company I'd help to found and which Sun acquired in 1996. Lighthouse built applications for NeXTSTEP, the Unix based operating system whose core would become the foundation for all Mac products after Apple acquired NeXT in 1996. Steve had used Concurrence for years, and as Apple built their own presentation tool, it was obvious where they'd found inspiration. "And last I checked, MacOS is now built on Unix. I think Sun has a few OS patents, too." Steve was silent.

I personally think it all of this suing is petty and dumb. This reminds me of when I was about 10 and when my little cousin would always say "I'll sue you" whenever he didn't get his way. Personally I think all these CEO's need to grow up and realize all they are doing is hampering technology and the advancement of the human race.

Re:Grow Up@ - God! I hope not! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426098)

Personally I think all these CEO's need to grow up and realize all they are doing is hampering technology and the advancement of the human race.

"Adults" don't take wild-ass risks on pie-in-the-sky technologies. What I'm saying is, if Jobs wasn't the wing-nut that he is, he would never have got Apple going. Wozniak would have made his hobby computer, sold it in electronics magazines and right now there would be posts saying, "Hey, remember that Apple computer kit from the '70s, that was kind of neat! It was based on the 6502."

With others chiming in...kind of like how folks talk about that kit computer that I can't even remember.

Anyway, most entrepreneurs on the scale of Jobs, Ellison, Gates, etc... are head cases who couldn't work in corporate America even if they tried because they're just too out of the box. Corporate America wouldn't hire them or if they did, they wouldn't last. Which is a GOOD THING because corporate America has no imagination, thinks rigidly, and is more concerned with the status quo.

P.S, if any of you are entrepreneurs or inventors, leave corporate America - they'll just crush you and your ideas and you'll grow old and bitter always wondering "what if". In the meantime, the executives and the salespeople and the HR people go on with their over paid cushy jobs.

Only in USia.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426250)

... children play by suing each other...

Apple is famous for that sort of thing (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426386)

Apple once sued Microsoft on the theory that Windows infringed on the "look and feel" of Mac OS, so it's not at all surprising they would threaten to do the same to Sun over the look and feel of Looking Glass. It's just Apple being Apple, and Jobs being a dick, as usual.

Apple's litigious nature is one of the reasons I tend to avoid Apple products (I do have an iPod, but that's all).

Obviously just the start of the story (1, Interesting)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425898)

Glad to hear that he sees this as the major post-leaving issue to raise. I think that's pretty significant in itself.

Hopefully this brief blog entry is just a teaser. It really is hard to draw a clear line between trolls [swpat.org] , inter-company attacks [swpat.org] , tax seekers [swpat.org] .

Oh this should get good (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425976)

MS apologists and Apple fanboys teaming up together... now if only he said something nasty about linux, the rage would be complete.

Wahhh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426042)

Wahhh!! I sank a company because Bill Gates and Steve Jobs threatened to sue me.. Wahhhh!!!! Grow up and grow a pair.

Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426286)

He was also the CEO of BusinessObjects and led SAP BusinessObjects after the acquisition by SAP, until he resigned a few weeks ago.

Gates and Jobs.. (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426322)

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both built hugely successful businesses. Schwartz was handed a hugely successful business, and he ran it into the ground. Why should anyone care what he has to say about people who did what he couldn't?

-jcr

Re:Gates and Jobs.. (4, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426446)

Actually Sun already was on the ground when Schwarz took over....

Re:Gates and Jobs.. (0, Flamebait)

Henriok (6762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426638)

Sun was pretty screwed after the dotcom bubble burst. He was put there to salvage the wreckage and I think he did a pretty good job too. What he failed to mention in his blog though is that Sun sued Microsoft in exactly the manner in which he criticizes Jobs and Gates. They sued MS for infringing on Java, won $20 million and then sued again which ended with a settlement out of court for $2 billion. Money that effectively patched the sinking ship that was Sun.

Uh, nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426734)

Sun was in a dire situation already when Schwartz became CEO (that is why he became CEO: Doh!)

He tried many good ideas and at the very least restablished Sun's credibility with many people.

The OpenSolaris & Solaris in x86 is short of miraculous, also the OpenStorage intiatives are going to be the hardware foundation of Oracle's vertical strategy (they have made that perfectly clear now).

Litigation is simply just another P&L, come on (1)

rimcrazy (146022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426442)

Having worked at numerous high tech companies and been on both sides of the litigation fence you come to realize, it is simply part of your business. Plain and simple. There are some rules like:

1) Never sue someone who doesn't have money unless they are a blatant rip off stealing your business.

2) You wait until they are making money. Then you walk in with your 3 foot stack of patents and say "We believe you are infringing all of these patents, pay up and cross license or we will file suit on each and every one." Then they usually follow with.." this week we are running a special, $15K/inch of height with a 2% on your revenue, AND we will throw in a set of Ginsu Knives" You in turn gag, renegotiate, build your own portfolio and look forward to the day 5 years from now when you can do the same to another competitor.

Like on the Soporano's "It's not personal.. its just businss"

Re:Litigation is simply just another P&L, come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426646)

And you find this behavior decent? Not acceptable (you obviously do) but decent.
Let me be the first to say: it's not business... it's just shit.

Always Park Here (1)

Iyonesco (1482555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426458)

Am I stupid or is the sign in the article telling people to always park in front of the entrance?

It essentially says to never never never never park there and isn't a quadruple negative a positive? Furthermore if you never never do something then you always do it so it seems he permanently wants somebody blocking his door.

Oracle is irritating (2, Informative)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426612)

Does anyone else find the Oracle branding all over the Sun pages disturbing? They are also cancelling the Sun training programs, saying that you will have to sign up for Oracle Academy - at many times the price. In a nutshell, Oracle is acting as though Sun will be entirely dismantled, and cease to exist as an entity.

It may be time to move away from Java...

Re:Oracle is irritating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426890)

Rest assured that Sun will probably disappear as a brand after some amount of time but the good technologies will live on.

Oracle has bet nearly the entire business on Java so it's absolutely safe to say it will live on and continue to advance for a very, very long time.

Steve invented music player, graphical computer (2, Funny)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426684)

Everyone knows that :-)

... and on Nokia (0, Offtopic)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426990)

"See Nokia’s suit against Apple for a parallel example of frivolous litigation"
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