Subject: Sun v. IBM, Linux as a proxy
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 14:44:59 -0700
Fri, 12 Oct 2001 14:44:59 -0700
The Economist: ID=814378

    Stealing each other's clothes
    Oct 11th 2001
    From The Economist print edition

    Sun's battle with IBM raises questions about its long-term strategy

    NOW is a tough time to be a computer maker. Sun Microsystems, along
    with its rivals, has had to go "to warp speed and then back", Scott
    McNealy, its chief executive, said last week, as Sun announced that
    it would make a larger-than-expected loss in the current quarter and
    would lay off 3,900 workers. At least the competitive landscape is
    simpler, he added. With much uncertainty surrounding the merger of
    Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, those big companies that need to buy
    high-powered computer equipment now face a straight choice between
    Sun and IBM. The struggle between these two companies has
    intensified in the past few weeks, with each trying to move on to
    the other's turf.


    As the world's leading server vendor, Sun is not in any immediate
    danger. Even as NT  and Linux become more popular, its Solaris
    franchise will continue to be hugely lucrative; although its share
    of the market may fall, revenues should continue to rise. But there
    are some contradictions in Sun's strategy, and in its attitude
    towards Linux in particular. On the one hand, Linux is a convenient
    stick with which to beat Microsoft, Sun's arch-rival in software. On
    the other, as the leading Unix vendor, Sun has the most to lose if
    Linux becomes the standard server operating system, from low-end
    boxes to mainframes, as IBM expects. mention of the possiblity I'd suggested of a Sun-Oracle merger
(Simon, you *are* monitoring this list, aren't you).  Good reading
though, sounds like Sun's encountering some clouds.


Karsten M. Self <>
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