October 5, 2007
"You're not going to believe this, but we're giving away servers now too."
Peter "you don't always have to be right" Burrows over at Business Week has hit another grand slam with his newest article about Jonathan Schwartz and Sun Microsystems. The best quote actually comes at the end of the article when Jim Zemlin at the Linux Foundation talks about Sun's recent moves: "It's like back in high school, when I'd throw these big parties and I'd think I was so cool, only no one would come." Which actually says a lot about both Jonathan and Jim when you think about it. Anyway, my question for Schwartz is this: How the fuck are you supposed to make money when you just give everything away? Peter Burrows seems to think that we're living in some new kind of economy where you don't really have to sell anything to make any money. In other words, if you keep throwing free software to the crowd and jumping and dancing around shiny servers long enough, good things are bound to happen. Um, yeah.
Pete, I want you to do something for me, bro. Just humor me, okay? Surf on over to Google and search for "google servers." Then take a good look at those pictures. See how Google is duck-taping hard drives onto motherboards? See how they're using velcro to strap the motherboards to the racks? Those are Google's servers, dude. Those are what power the world's biggest search engine. Google does that to save money and make components hot-swappable. I'm not sure, but it might have something to do with their stock price these days. So, yeah. Not sure where that leaves Sun, especially when you consider that hundreds of companies are now building servers Google-style.