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Cost-cutting will leave staff offline

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Sun Microsystems has told it employees NOT to use the Internet in an effort to shave a few dollars off its phone bill and thereby make its annual results look a bit better.

The cost-saving measure would be an unusual step for any firm to introduce, but for Sun, whose motto is: "The Network is the Computer", you've got to wonder whether its bean counters have lost the plot. We can't imagine it'd advise its customers to do the same.

In a memo circulated to all Sun staff (and leaked to The Register), its internal IT department said that certain network activities would be "restricted" between June 3 to July 7, the quiet period proceeding the announcement of Sun's annual results.

The memo, which reads like something from the Dilbert cartoon strip, said: "During Quiet Periods, all employees are asked to limit their network-intensive activities to only what is necessary to maintain the business."

Among other things staff were asked to limit Netscape access (Web browsing), FTP file transfers, large email attachments and "other bandwidth-intensive activities".

Staffers reading the message might believe its IT department has been taken over by Microsoft and abandoned this whole distributed computing malarkey, and the fat Sun servers that go with it, in favour of putting a disconnected PC on everybody's desk.

In fact the reason why Sun staffers can't put the com in dot com (or do anything much on the Internet for that matter) is all to do with the money men, who have decided an economy drive is in the only way to put a positive spin on Sun's financials.

The last part of the email implores staff to "do your part to help make sure that Sun can log all possible revenue for the quarter".

Previous cost-cutting measures at Sun have involved plans to 'close' during the week beginning July 1 (also during the quiet period), when non-essential staff will be asked to take leave. We wait news of further money-saving initiatives at Sun with interest... ®

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