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McNealy goes all touch and feely (by satellite)

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Scott McNealy, Chairman, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems (does that add up to three salaries?) appeared by satellite transmission to deliver his one-liners for the IDC European Forum in Paris. His physical presence had apparently been requested by Department of Justice lawyers in Washington in a matter close to his heart. Asked about some support that Sun was offering for NT, McNealy said: "You don't go to Coca-Cola to buy Pepsi, you don't go to Ford to buy BMWs, and you don't go to Sun Microsystems to buy NT". Sun was just being pragmatic and making available some interoperability capabilities, he said. In the future, "Sun will ship NT when Microsoft ships Solaris." McNealy saw no role for PowerPoint or MS Word on the Internet: "PowerPoint is the most insidious product ever produced. When PowerPoint is outlawed, only outlaws will buy PowerPoint." "Services is where all old technology and computer companies go to die. Sun is not moving to a services model; we're moving to a technology and products model." McNealy did admit ruefully that when Sun announced it was making Solaris available essentially free for academic use, Sun's Internet servers were overwhelmed with enquirers. "Dell is not a computer company, it is a broker that adds as little value as possible. Nobody should own the alphabet . . . you should not be able to charge when you invent new alphabet characters like "N" and "T". Apropos of nothing, McNealy offered the comment, "Big hat. No cattle," with a glint in his full-screen visage. ®

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