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Scott McNealy co-founded the computer technology company Sun Microsystems, a fervent rival of Windows.
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However, no other candidates outshone McNealy, and he took the company public in 1986. By 1988, the company was doing $1 billion in annual sales, and in 1995, Sun was named one of the country's 100 best-managed companies.
McNealy's sharp tongue and aggressive approach were tempered with highly successful management techniques. To keep morale high, he encouraged office high jinks, ranging from water-gun fights to high-concept pranks on April Fool's Day. One year,
employees transformed McNealy's office into a golf hole, complete with water hazard and putting green.
Whether his stance against Gates and Microsoft will save - or even change - the computer world remains to be seen. So far, McNealy's quest to promote Java has proven highly successful, and Java applets have proliferated on the Internet. Even Microsoft condescended to license Java, adding its own special extensions. Sun, however, has accused Microsoft of purposely extending Java in ways that only help users of Windows and Intel.
Under McNealy's direction, Sun has recently expanded its business beyond Web servers to storage products, wireless servers, and e-business software. In July 2000, Sun (in a joint venture with America Online) unveiled iPlanet, a unique software component designed to support commerce over the Internet.
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