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Interview with Scott McNealy IV

The enemy of my enemy is a friend so I love Linux

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Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Exclusive When all around cannot move fast enough to associate their company name with Linux, even if they have not worked out how to make some money from it, it was almost refreshing to hear how at Cebit, Sun CEO Scott McNealy dealt with the head-on collision that looms between Solaris and Linux. "Linux is like Windows: it's too fat for the client, for the appliance ...it's not scalable for the server. It's the right way to do the wrong answer, so if you're going to do the wrong answer which is fat clients and thin servers, then at least do it with Linux. "Don't send any money to Microsoft for something that's fatter, slower, buggier, doesn't scale as well, and has fewer people working on it. "There was an interesting little experiment our CTO [Bill Joy] did. He took the Sony Vaio notebook ... He downloaded Linux, then he went over to Netscape and downloaded the latest version, and then he went over to Star Office, and all of a sudden he had a better, faster, smaller, lower-powered, bug-free, legally free environment ... with more people working on it than the entire state of Washington. "Now why in the world would anybody ever write another cheque to Microsoft? I don't know. But why would you do Linux either? That's the wrong answer. Go thin clients, go appliances: that's the right way to go long term. So that's why I call [Linux] the right way to do the wrong answer. And the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so I love Linux." ®

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