CEO Stakes Sun's Renaissance on Freebies

Java giant focuses on appealing to the masses over CIOs
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2007 5:32 PM CDT
An Sun Microsystems Inc. mouse pad, mouse, and keyboard is shown at Sun headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007. Two years after announcing a somewhat vague software-distribution partnership,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Sun Microsystems’ latest CEO has an interesting strategy for getting profit out of the beleaguered tech giant—he's giving stuff away. “There’s value in volume,” says Jonathan Schwartz, who has made free Sun's Solaris operating system, microprocessor blueprints, and Java code. So far, so good: Schwartz turned 2006 losses of $864 million into a $473 million profit.

Schwartz contends it’s the populace, not the golfing CIO set, that steers tech. But Sun’s shares remain stagnant, BusinessWeek says, with observers fearing it’s too late for a Solaris groundswell over Linux. “It's like in high school, when I'd throw these big parties and think I was so cool, only no one would come,” said a Linux director.