Subject: Re: What should Sun do?
From: "Marshall W. Van Alstyne" <marshall@MIT.EDU>
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 18:12:11 -0500

At 09:35 PM 1/31/2005, Ng Pheng Siong wrote:
>I realise this thread is exactly about Sun's not knowing what it is doing,
>but I thought the corporate responsibility of Sun's officers is to increase
>Sun shareholders' value, not attempt to decrease Microsoft shareholders'?
>... Of course, it is unclear Sun can raise StarOffice's price much higher than
>what it is now to recoup its investment on StarOffice. (A quick googling
>didn't turn up the acquisition's $ amount.) Is StarOffice and/or OpenOffice
>succeeding in driving MS Office's price down? Is Sun making money
>(operationally, ignoring the initial investment) on StarOffice? Or is Sun's
>incredibly profitable hardware/OS franchise subsidising its StarOffice

Good point!  Actually, there are a handful of ways this strategy makes $ 
for sun.  Conversations with a few of Sun's lawyer execs turned up a good 
article on their historical business reasons for supporting Free & OSS

"Open Source Licensing: Virus or Virtue?" Chirs Nadan; Texas Intellectual 
Property Law Jrnl 10(3) (2002)

The purported benefits are:
1 - sell related HW
2 - dissipate a competitor's standard in order to leverage one's own
3 - dual licensing