Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd May 2008 20:44 UTC, submitted by Moochman
Oracle and SUN Engadget got the chance to sit down with Jonathan Schwartz, the pony-tailed CEO of Sun Microsystems. Being the gadget blog that they are, Engadget asked Schwartz about the long-missing JavaFX Mobile platform Sun has promised, Java on the iPhone, and competing with Microsoft as an open source vendor.
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RE: Shame ...
by segedunum on Sun 4th May 2008 11:33 UTC in reply to "Shame ..."
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

... they couldn't ask him about the $34 million loss and the 2500 jobs to be axed.

Indeed. That would have been a more pertinent and interesting question, rather than getting bizarre and totally meaningless answers about the iPhone (Sun has a fixation about being Apple for some reason), as well as asking Jonathan how he intends to solve those problems. It's like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic while the band plays some nice ragtime tunes. However, I suppose the interview displays Sun's current status: "What the hell are we going to do?" Novell has much the same problem.

I find it amusing, and not so amusing for the employees themselves, that Sun simply doesn't know how to do redundancies:

http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2006/08/silve...

The golden rule of redundancies is to itemise everything that you need and don't need, get the relevant people told as quickly as possible, and above all, make sure you do it once, and once only. This constant round of layoffs that Sun has every year, or every few months, is destroying the ability of the people left to get any work done. Drip feeding layoffs, quite apart from any other problems you have, can destroy a company itself. Would you work under that? Even funnier, Sun is one of those daft companies that fires people that they eventually realise they need to do some work twelve months later. Comments by some 'anonymous' people here:

http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2008/05/01/sun_q3_down/comments/

Sadly, Sun still believes that its multi-billion dollar revenues and spending from the 90s and around the dot-com boom are sustainable - if only they can fire a whole load of people. For a company with their revenues, a $34 million loss or a $67 million profit is woeful. They're barely breaking even as revenues fall. Getting rid of people isn't enough, as it's pretty clear that their expenses are just far too high. Daft purchases such as MySQL and Innotek are partly to blame, but they're not the whole story.

I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader, and Jonathan, to work this one out, considering that by various metrics a good three quarters of the servers they manage to sell are x86, and of those, probably a good 70% - 80% have Linux specified as their OS. Unless they can get some returns on their spending on SPARC and Solaris then it's all just dead weight.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Shame ...
by Arun on Mon 5th May 2008 01:07 in reply to "RE: Shame ..."
Arun Member since:
2005-07-07


I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader, and Jonathan, to work this one out, considering that by various metrics a good three quarters of the servers they manage to sell are x86, and of those, probably a good 70% - 80% have Linux specified as their OS. Unless they can get some returns on their spending on SPARC and Solaris then it's all just dead weight.



Do you have any data for that ludicrous statement?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Shame ...
by segedunum on Mon 5th May 2008 02:19 in reply to "RE[2]: Shame ..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I know you want to nitpick without addressing the crux of the arguments, but I'll bite.

http://tweakers.net/reviews/649/last/database-test-sun-ultrasparc-t...

There should be some reasonable data in there for you to digest. The crux is that Sun's x86 Opteron servers are outselling SPARC by a wide margin. It's a question of volume, and that's why Sun had to move to it. Having their SPARC be outperformed and still be more expensive in the same target market isn't helping.

http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,s...

"In a May 2006 report, IDC reported that 66.3% of the AMD-based Galaxy servers in Sun's portfolio ship with Linux pre-installed. By September, that number had increased to 71.5%."

Given that Linux has traditionally been installed on x86 and that's where Sun's SPARC lunch was eaten, that's fairly logical. It's difficult to justify Solaris under those circumstances.

"A Sun representative contacted for this article declined to update those numbers, and said the company does not break out the number of servers shipped for analyst reports."

In all honesty, that doesn't surprise me. If the opposite was true, the Solaris folks would be trumpeting it from the hills. They're not.

That's the long and the short of it, and alas, there isn't much cheer to be had. Sun have some good stuff, and with good leadership they could be doing very well, but due to inertia and poor management decisions that isn't going to happen.

Reply Parent Score: 2