Sun ex-chief talks about the 'demise of Sun' - dishes dirt on Bill Gates, Steve Jobs

Former CEO of Sun Microsystems published "What I couldn't say...," to tell about the demise of Sun. "I feel for Google -- Steve Jobs threatened to sue me, too," Schwartz writes, apparently referring to Apple's patent lawsuit against HTC. Schwartz says he had just unveiled Sun's Linux desktop, Project Looking Glass, in 2003, when Jobs […]

Former CEO of Sun Microsystems published "What I couldn't say...," to tell about the demise of Sun. "I feel for Google -- Steve Jobs threatened to sue me, too," Schwartz writes, apparently referring to Apple's patent lawsuit against HTC. Schwartz says he had just unveiled Sun's Linux desktop, Project Looking Glass, in 2003, when Jobs called him to assert that Sun's graphics were "stepping all over" Apple's intellectual property. If Sun tried to commercialize the technology, Schwartz says, Jobs told him, "I'll just sue you." As Schwartz tells it, he responded by reminding Jobs about Sun's considerable arsenal of OS-related patents. "Steve was silent," Schwartz writes. A later meeting with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer ended on a similar note, according to Schwartz. "As we sat down in our Menlo Park conference room, Bill skipped the small talk and went straight to the point, 'Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice,'" Schwartz writes. "Bill was delivering a slightly more sophisticated variant of the threat Steve had made, but he had a different solution in mind," Schwartz writes. Gates offered Sun a patent license. "That was code for 'We'll go away if you pay us a royalty for every download' -- the digital version of a protection racket." Schwartz says he responded by asserting that Microsoft's .Net development platform was a rip-off of Java. "It was a short meeting," he says. Microsoft declined to comment on the post and Apple didn't respond to an e-mail message.

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