Here's something you don't see every day. An executive of one public company -- in this case Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos -- blogging an open letter to the engineers of another public company (HP) inviting them to change employers. It's been a while since we've seen either of Sun's two highest profile executive bloggers (Papadopoulos or COO and president Jonathan Schwartz) going after HP's jugular but this blog -- a cleverly worded double entendre -- holds no punches back. In the note, Papadopoulos recounts with fondness how his engineering career got started at HP and, and then proceeds -- under the guise of a job offer to HP's engineers -- to rip the embattled Tier 1 vendor for spending "the last five years chasing other people's business models" and turning its back its research and development roots (that's his opinion, not mine, and one that HP would likely disagree with). Then comes the marketing message -- Papadopoulos' evidence that R&D is alive and well at Sun (replete with a list of supposedly R&D-driven solutions).
The war of words between Sun and HP reached its peak last fall after Schwartz publicly asserted that HP was planning to scuttle its version of Unix (HP-UX). It was an assertion that HP so vehemently denied that it sent Sun a cease and desist letter. Escalating the drama in an Eastwoodesque way, Sun -- knowing that a court battle would force HP to open its kimono in ways that no technology company would want to -- basically told HP to go ahead and make its day. Since then -- as evidenced by a lack of commentary over Carly Fiorina's departure -- Sun's anti-HP rhetoric settled down to a quiet murmur.
That was until today, of course, with Papa Greg's blog. The best part of his blog however is that he's opened it up to comments. Last month, both Papadopoulos and Schwartz opened up their blogs to comments (see Schwartz's Free Software has no pirates). However, whereas Papadopoulos has kept his subsequent entries open to comments, Schwartz has not.