Overcoming the “Microsoft Hairball” Scott McNealy at the Churchill Club by Praveen Asthana, Anderson & Mannheim Scott McNealy, Chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems, began by discussing the top 10 problems caused by second hand marijuana smoke in the computer industry. Then he moved on to more serious matters such as encryption, the Justice Dept., Java and the Enigma Card. In between, he made a few pokes at “Darth Vader and the Evil Empire” as McNealy affectionately refers to Bill Gates. On encryption, McNealy decried the government restrictions on use and export of encryption software. Wider use of encryption, argued McNealy, would expand the commercial potential of the net. Restricting it hurts everyone. The other major government issue that McNealy brought up was the Dept. of Justice investigation of Microsoft. McNealy called it “free publicity” for Gates and wished that the government would investigate Sun and bring it such free publicity. While discussing industry dynamics, McNealy raised the possibility that Intel could split with Microsoft as Intel is greatly upset that Microsoft is getting into the hardware business. Intel isn’t the only company concerned about Microsoft. McNealy revealed how John Malone, Chairman of TCI cable, wanted Java in his set top boxes to prevent Gates from controlling the choke points in the consumer market. Always a salesman, Scott demonstrated a SUN product that would allow remote access to a company intranet through a secure channel. He unveiled soon to be buzz-words such as Enigma Card and IP Tunnel. Finally, McNealy took questions from the audience. “Uncensored,” he was proud to say. This program generously supported by Ernst & Young LLP; McCutchen, Doyle, Brown, & Enersen; Silicon Valley Bank.
Scott McNealy, Chairman & CEO, Sun Microsystems