Sun’s Schwartz to Microsoft: Resistance is futile

In the wake of Microsoft’s latest threat to try to shake some money out of someone, anyone, in the open-source food chain (see “Nice little open-source operation you’ve got there; shame if anything should happen to it“), Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz offers this advice to his business partner, born out of Sun’s own foxhole conversion:

“You would be wise to listen to the customers you’re threatening to sue – they can leave you, especially if you give them motivation. Remember, they wouldn’t be motivated unless your products were somehow missing the mark.

“All of which is to say – no amount of fear can stop the rise of free media, or free software (they are the same, after all). The community is vastly more innovative and powerful than a single company. And you will never turn back the clock on elementary school students and developing economies and aid agencies and fledgling universities – or the Fortune 500 – that have found value in the wisdom of the open source community. Open standards and open source software are literally changing the face of the planet – creating opportunity wherever the network can reach.

“That’s not a genie any litigator I know can put back in a bottle.”


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  • Walt French

    Both as a consumer and as a businessperson, I take, “Delight the Client” as first class advice.

    So it sure seems odd that “listen to the customers” — one of Google’s major tenets, too — comes from a firm that has seen its role shrink so dramatically in the past decade.

    The benefit to SUNW shareholders who sponsored this wisdom don’t seem to have been rewarded much for backing it, either.

    Where’s the disconnect?

  • You’d think that Microsoft would have learned from the SCO/IBM fiasco that they haven’t got a case. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone in the IT field, though, given that M$ has been accused of unscrupulous business practices before. This is just M$ being M$.