[conspire] Re: Sun's strategy to discredit Linux.

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 2 16:39:46 PDT 2004

On Saturday 02 October 2004 15:01, Rick Moen wrote:
> [I hope you don't mind my CCing the mailing list.]
> Quoting Adrien Lamothe (a_lamothe at yahoo.com):
> > Hi Rick,
> >
> > This article contains a summary of an interview with
> > Jonathan Schwartz and Scott McNealy. Its very funny.
> > The URL is:
> >
> > http://linuxtoday.com/it_management/2004100101926OPBZRH
> Good summary -- and author Profitt is absolutely correct in his
> recounting and analysis.  The last couple of months, I've been
> encountering Sun-employee pundits on commmunity mailing lists
> (e.g., SVLUG's and OSI's) and politely blowing their factual
> claims about Red Hat and Linux out of the water at every turn. 
> They always change the subject quickly when I do, which tells me
> that they almost certainly know they're flat-out wrong but are
> working on orders from executive management.

I read that article, and followed several stories back to Jonathan 
Schwartz's blog here:


I believe that Proffitt misunderstand's Sun's position, and has 
misread the Colony article to which he refers.  

Reading Jonathan's blog above, I would have to say that he is merely 
engaged in marketing his company's products against two 
competitors: Red Hat for software and IBM for hardware.  IMHO, Sun 
believes that it can offer a better integration of hardware and 
software than RH or IBM.  

I think that Proffitt has misunderstood Sun's position with regard 
to RH and Linux.  I don't read JS as equating RH and Linux.  He 
mentions Novell's SuSE as a viable alternative.  JS does not 
exclude Debian or Mandrakesoft or any of the other Linux distros.  
To the extent that Proffitt suggests that Sun equates RH and Linux 
or that Sun does not have a viable Linux strategy, I can't agree 
with Proffitt.  

Sun, HP, Red Hat, IBM, etc., will all be making claims about their 
respective abilities to deliver open source solutions.  The law 
refers to many of these claims as mere "commercial puffery."  

Rick has greater depth of knowledge on this topic than I do, but I 
also have friends who are Sun employees, and I don't see them 
"politely blowing their factual claims about Red Hat and Linux out 
of the water at every turn" as Rick says above.  Rather, as far as 
I have seen, Sun and its employees are mostly just touting Sun's 
open source competence, and drawing distinctions from its 
competitors.  Brian Proffitt is a managing editor who is trying to 
sell copy, and he has a certain amount of editorial license which 
he is exercising.  I'm not saying that Brian was wildly distorting 
anything, but I sure don't read Colony's article or Schwartz's 
public spin the same that Brian does.  I think that Brian was 
trying to stir up some interest in his topic.  It wouldn't be the 
first or last time that an editor adds color to his writing.

Sure,  Jonathan Schwartz makes some strong statements about IBM and 
its historic Microsoft mistake, but I see that primarily as brash 
commercial puffery, and not a slam on open source or Linux. 

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