Sun's Bid To Rule The Web
Late last June, Sun Microsystems Inc. President Edward Zander got the kind of call every tech executive dreads. After eBay Inc. suffered a 22-hour outage of its Web site and a spate of smaller crashes, CEO Margaret Whitman called to tell Zander that the problem was a bug in Sun's top-of-the-line server. Sun would learn something just as startling over the next few days of round-the-clock meetings with eBay: The Internet upstart didn't have a clue about running a $1 million-plus computer. The company hadn't provided sufficient air conditioning to keep the machine cool. And even though there had been a software problem with the machine for which Sun had issued a patch many months before, eBay had simply neglected to install it. The list went on--fueling the sentiment, as one Sun manager put it, that "selling computers to some of these dot-coms is like giving a gun to a 5-year-old."
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