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Oracle-Sun Announcement: Sun's Schwartz Sets the Record Straight

Sun's President & COO Quashes Speculation That His Absence From Last Week's Announcement Was In Any Way Significant

"Please don't read [anything] in to my not being at Sun's recent announcement with Oracle," wrote Sun's president and COO Jonathan Schwartz the weekend after Sun (represented not by Jonathan but by Scott McNealy) and Oracle (represented by Larry Ellison) announced a broad-based reinvigoration of their collaboration. Schwartz's intention? To quash idle press speculation that his absence from the Sun-Oracle "Town Hall Meeting" somehow betokened something mysterious. It didn't, Schwartz insists.

"There are better conspiracies," he blogged in a public rebuttal of any talk that he wasn't at the Town Hall Meeting because perhaps he doesn't share McNealy's enthusiasm for cosying up so close to Oracle that Sun is now offering Oracle's flagship database for half-price as a way of driving sales of Sun hardware.

"For those that missed the press event," explained Schwartz, lest anyone's attention were distracted last week (for example by the major announcements at Macworld), "Sun and Oracle just announced a broad based reinvigoration of our working together - we announced a new 10 year partnership once again endorsing the Java Community Process, dousing any possible fear that the Java platform was at risk of fragmenting."

Sun also announced Oracle's adoption and endorsement of NetBeans, Schwartz continued, "building on the groundswell of support we're seeing for NetBeans 5.0."

"We announced a special promotion for Oracle on Sun," he added, "through which Oracle customers can now purchase Oracle's flagship database at 50% off by running on Sun. That alone is reenergizing our respective field organizations..."

Where in the world was Jonathan Schwartz last week? In Mexico, it turns out. Why else would anyone have missed not only the Oracle-Sun buddyfest but also the chance to join Sun's "Gang of Four" - co-founders Scott McNealy, Bill Joy, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Vinod Khosla - in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA?

As only Jonathan Schwartz could get away with saying, he was "on a serious travel jag." He will doubtless be blogging very soon on how, as a result of his trip, Sun's field organization in Mexico is on the verge of multipling Sun's performance there by an order of magnitude. Unlike the Gang of Four, Schwartz knows that he will be judged only by what financial results Sun achieves today, not by its technology achievements of yesteryear, however stupendous.

Who was it said - the sociologist and theologian Tony Campolo if memory serves - “Your past is important but it is not nearly as important to your present as the way you see your future” [my emphasis].

Schwartz's sense of priorities becomes him well. There will be many people who will remember this Campolo quote, mark my words, come April when the time comes to examine Sun's third quarter of its financial year 2006 results.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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