A: Be on Sun's Public Enemy Number One list.
It happened in 2004, when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and then-Sun CEO Scott McNealy appeared as best friends on-stage after the two vendors signed their historic agreement to stop disagreeing so vehemently.
And it happened Wednesday morning when Dell CEO Michael Dell and now-Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz appeared on-stage for about five minutes during Schwartz's keynote address at Oracle World.
What? You do not recall the long, acrimonious dispute between the two IT giants, the back-and-forth jabs and thrusts of two opponents aimed at each other's destruction?
Well, there were none. Instead, it's more a case of Sun bashing Dell's server business and bragging about how Sun's Opteron-based servers are more powerful, uses less electricity, and cost less than any servers Dell sells. Dell has been the Sun punching bag of a comparison when it comes to Sun's showing off its latest x86-compatible servers.
So it was a surprise to see Michael Dell walk on-stage during Schwartz's keynote to talk about how their two companies signed a deal under which Dell will support Solaris 10 on its servers, and that the two will work with each other on virtualization. The two will also work to get ISV support for Solaris on Dell servers.
Left unsaid were the questions of whether this will make it harder (a) for Sun servers to compete against Dell servers, and (b) for Sun to bash Dell servers as being less powerful and more costly.
To seal the deal, Michael Dell gave Schwartz a Dell T-shirt. Perhaps it wasn't as nice as the hockey jerseys that McNealy and Ballmer exchanged three years ago, but then again the Dell and Sun haven't been fighting as long as Microsoft and Sun did.
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