I went to a press event this week where Sun executives talked about making a frontal assault on Red Hat's with Solaris 10. Sun is spinning up new services for life cycle management for its operating system in the Web tier, as well as OS migration programs and new programs for resellers. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz has been talking up his company's relevance to startups (see the Scoble Show interview).
"We can provide better support than Red Hat or Oracle, and we have an aggressive campaign to educate partners and to engage with the startup community, partnering with VCs and luminaries to get Solaris into the higher volume Web tier," Peder Ulander, vice president of software marketing at Sun, claimed at the press event.
It's a good opportunity for Sun, but the company has pissed off one of the stellar startups. Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress (full disclosure: Matt used to work at CNET and ZDNet blogs are built on WordPress) and Automattic.
November 8th, 2006: I receive an email addressed to “Mr Muellenweg” (wtf?) [editor note: Matt's name misspelled] saying “Due to the volume of interest in this exciting new program, it is taking us longer than expected to review your application. We will let you know your status within the next few days — thanks for your patience."
Late-November: I talk for about an hour to a nice guy named Eric Cosway doing research about what I thought of Startup Camp and Sun. I tell him about the trouble I’ve had registering for Startup Essentials, he says he’ll note that and pass it on.
3 months since: Complete silence, punctuated by frequent Sun press releases and AP stories about how they’re great for startups, probably millions of dollars of PR.
I expect that Matt will be hearing from Schwartz or Rich Green, executive vice president of software at Sun, today. Also, it's a good opportunity for the busy Schwartz to get back to blogging and discuss the experience Matt had with Sun. Perhaps in 2007 Sun will learn how to spell "Mullenweg."