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Sun chief 'doubtful' over M$ remedy

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Microsoft

The chief executive of Sun Microsystems said Thursday that he was "doubtful" that the new version of Windows software for the European market ordered as partial settlement of the Microsoft antitrust case would make a difference in the market for computer operating systems.

Scott McNealy, fresh from the $4.1 billion acquisition of Storage Technology his company announced last week, also said that Sun had "billions more" cash on hand and that he expected the company to grow from future acquisitions as well as increasing sales.

Sun, which has lost money in each of its past three financial years despite its $11 billion in annual sales of Internet and other network software, was one of the original instigators of the antitrust case in Europe, complaining to the European Commission in 2000 that Microsoft abused its dominance in the software field by making it difficult for competitors' software to work with Windows.

Sun and Microsoft have been less antagonistic in the past year, however, after the two came to terms - worth $1.8 billion to Sun - on cross-licensing software patents last May.

"Right now, most of our focus is on trying to maximize the productivity of the patent amnesty we have with Microsoft," McNealy said Thursday in Paris, as he concluded visits to customers and staff in Switzerland, Britain and France.

Windows Edition N, which will be available for sale next week, is designed to answer a different part of the European antitrust case, that of Microsoft's abuse of its dominance by bundling its own multimedia software with Windows, to the disadvantage of rivals like RealNetworks and Apple Computer.

Last March, the commission ordered Microsoft to pay a fine of €497.2 million, or $607.4 million, to disclose more computer code information to enable interoperability, and to offer Windows without its Media Player software. Microsoft and the commission disagreed on the terms of complying with the order until last week.

Microsoft is appealing the antitrust decision.

"Do I think that that particular remedy will significantly alter the market dynamics and choice?" McNealy said about Edition N. "It's doubtful. I would love it if it did, but it's doubtful."

McNealy, who co-founded Sun and has long been a vocal and entertaining critic of Microsoft's power in the software industry, sought his words about his rival and partner carefully.

"I think we have to have a little more diplomacy around what we're trying to do with Java Web services and .Net Web services," McNealy said, referring respectively to Sun's and Microsoft's corporate software offerings.

Because of both companies' leadership in network software, they have a "burden" to offer as much interoperability "as practical," he said.

McNealy also defended the purchase of Storage Technology as immediately beneficial to both sales and earnings. He said it also would bolster Sun's research and development and field-service employees.

StorageTek, based in Colorado, had revenue of $2.22 billion last year, largely on sales of tape systems for storing archival data. "I would not underestimate the archiving business," McNealy said.

PARIS The chief executive of Sun Microsystems said Thursday that he was "doubtful" that the new version of Windows software for the European market ordered as partial settlement of the Microsoft antitrust case would make a difference in the market for computer operating systems.

Scott McNealy, fresh from the $4.1 billion acquisition of Storage Technology his company announced last week, also said that Sun had "billions more" cash on hand and that he expected the company to grow from future acquisitions as well as increasing sales.

Sun, which has lost money in each of its past three financial years despite its $11 billion in annual sales of Internet and other network software, was one of the original instigators of the antitrust case in Europe, complaining to the European Commission in 2000 that Microsoft abused its dominance in the software field by making it difficult for competitors' software to work with Windows.

Sun and Microsoft have been less antagonistic in the past year, however, after the two came to terms - worth $1.8 billion to Sun - on cross-licensing software patents last May.

"Right now, most of our focus is on trying to maximize the productivity of the patent amnesty we have with Microsoft," McNealy said Thursday in Paris, as he concluded visits to customers and staff in Switzerland, Britain and France.

Windows Edition N, which will be available for sale next week, is designed to answer a different part of the European antitrust case, that of Microsoft's abuse of its dominance by bundling its own multimedia software with Windows, to the disadvantage of rivals like RealNetworks and Apple Computer.

Last March, the commission ordered Microsoft to pay a fine of €497.2 million, or $607.4 million, to disclose more computer code information to enable interoperability, and to offer Windows without its Media Player software. Microsoft and the commission disagreed on the terms of complying with the order until last week.

Microsoft is appealing the antitrust decision.

"Do I think that that particular remedy will significantly alter the market dynamics and choice?" McNealy said about Edition N. "It's doubtful. I would love it if it did, but it's doubtful."

McNealy, who co-founded Sun and has long been a vocal and entertaining critic of Microsoft's power in the software industry, sought his words about his rival and partner carefully.

"I think we have to have a little more diplomacy around what we're trying to do with Java Web services and .Net Web services," McNealy said, referring respectively to Sun's and Microsoft's corporate software offerings.

Because of both companies' leadership in network software, they have a "burden" to offer as much interoperability "as practical," he said.

McNealy also defended the purchase of Storage Technology as immediately beneficial to both sales and earnings. He said it also would bolster Sun's research and development and field-service employees.

StorageTek, based in Colorado, had revenue of $2.22 billion last year, largely on sales of tape systems for storing archival data. "I would not underestimate the archiving business," McNealy said.

PARIS The chief executive of Sun Microsystems said Thursday that he was "doubtful" that the new version of Windows software for the European market ordered as partial settlement of the Microsoft antitrust case would make a difference in the market for computer operating systems.

Scott McNealy, fresh from the $4.1 billion acquisition of Storage Technology his company announced last week, also said that Sun had "billions more" cash on hand and that he expected the company to grow from future acquisitions as well as increasing sales.

Sun, which has lost money in each of its past three financial years despite its $11 billion in annual sales of Internet and other network software, was one of the original instigators of the antitrust case in Europe, complaining to the European Commission in 2000 that Microsoft abused its dominance in the software field by making it difficult for competitors' software to work with Windows.

Sun and Microsoft have been less antagonistic in the past year, however, after the two came to terms - worth $1.8 billion to Sun - on cross-licensing software patents last May.

"Right now, most of our focus is on trying to maximize the productivity of the patent amnesty we have with Microsoft," McNealy said Thursday in Paris, as he concluded visits to customers and staff in Switzerland, Britain and France.

Windows Edition N, which will be available for sale next week, is designed to answer a different part of the European antitrust case, that of Microsoft's abuse of its dominance by bundling its own multimedia software with Windows, to the disadvantage of rivals like RealNetworks and Apple Computer.

Last March, the commission ordered Microsoft to pay a fine of €497.2 million, or $607.4 million, to disclose more computer code information to enable interoperability, and to offer Windows without its Media Player software. Microsoft and the commission disagreed on the terms of complying with the order until last week.

Microsoft is appealing the antitrust decision.

"Do I think that that particular remedy will significantly alter the market dynamics and choice?" McNealy said about Edition N. "It's doubtful. I would love it if it did, but it's doubtful."

McNealy, who co-founded Sun and has long been a vocal and entertaining critic of Microsoft's power in the software industry, sought his words about his rival and partner carefully.

"I think we have to have a little more diplomacy around what we're trying to do with Java Web services and .Net Web services," McNealy said, referring respectively to Sun's and Microsoft's corporate software offerings.

Because of both companies' leadership in network software, they have a "burden" to offer as much interoperability "as practical," he said.

McNealy also defended the purchase of Storage Technology as immediately beneficial to both sales and earnings. He said it also would bolster Sun's research and development and field-service employees.

StorageTek, based in Colorado, had revenue of $2.22 billion last year, largely on sales of tape systems for storing archival data. "I would not underestimate the archiving business," McNealy said.

By Victoria Shannon International Herald Tribune

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